In eight days, Eve Tetaz, a 76-year old retired D.C. public schoolteacher, will enter a courthouse in Washington, D.C. and engage in the legal debate over the fate of America's detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The name of Noor Muhammad has never appeared in an American criminal court. On May 27th, Tetaz will change that.
On that day, she will appear at the Washington, D.C. Superior Court as Noor Muhammad. Tetaz was arrested, along with 78 others, at the U.S. Supreme Court on January 11, 2008, protesting the denial of habeas rights to and the torture of inmates at Guantanamo. Like her fellow protestors, Tetaz took the name of an inmate during her arrest. (See the January 13 Washington Post article "Activists Pose as Guantanamo Prisoners")
Tetaz says she felt compelled to participate in the protest at the Supreme Court because detainees are being tortured at Guantanamo. "Torture is a terrible crime and sin against humanity," she said.
Thirty-four of the Supreme Court demonstrators have pleaded "not guilty" to charges of "unlawful free speech" and "causing a harangue" at the Court on January 11. They will continue their protest during the trial itself, entering the names of the Guantanamo inmates and justifying their acts as defenses of the U.S. Constitution, international law, and human rights. They will call expert witnesses — from lawyers of the detainees to U.S. Judge Advocate Generals critical of detention policies — to document the abuses at Guantanamo.
Other Washington Metro area residents appearing in court, along with Tetaz and others, include Art Laffin, Malachy Kilbride, and David Barrows.
At 7:45 am on Tuesday, May 27, those facing trial will walk in orange jumpsuits and black hoods bearing the names of Guantanamo inmates from the U.S. Supreme Court (Maryland Avenue and First Street) to the D.C. Superior Court (Carl Moultrie Court House, 500 Indiana, Ave NW), where their trial will take place. At 8:30 am, a press conference will begin outside the Municipal Court. Individuals facing trial, as well as expert witnesses, will address the media. The trial will begin at 9 am. The press is invited to attend the proceedings.
We'd love to put you in touch with Eve Tetaz, who will go on trial later this month, and talk to you about their action in the broader context of the national movement to shut down the facilities at Guantanamo.
Pete Perry, Media Outreach, Witness Against Torture
You may contact Pete at: 202 669 8419 (firstname.lastname@example.org).