Group offers glimpse of Guantanamo prison cell
DENVER, Colorado ” In a city park that has become a central spot for protesters during the Democratic National Convention, Amnesty International parked a replica of a Guantanamo Bay prison cell on a grassy lawn Sunday as part of its campaign to close the U.S. detention camp in Cuba.
Orange silhouettes marked the path to the bright orange box. Inside, there were two narrow windows, a toilet, sink and a thin plastic-covered cushion placed on a bench. The walls were whitewashed.
“It’s not just about reaching people who don’t agree with us,” said Sharon Singh, an Amnesty International spokeswoman. “We want people to be more engaged.”
Amnesty International has toured the country with its Guantanamo Bay prison cell replica this summer, making stops in Philadelphia, Los Angeles and other cities. The tour began May 8 in Miami, Singh said.
Amnesty International also plans to be in St. Paul, Minn., for the Republican National Convention, which runs Sept. 1-4.
In Denver, Singh said about 500 people entered the cell Sunday.
“It’s shocking people spend that much time in a space that small,” said 22-year-old Ashley Ruiz of Denver as she stepped inside.
Baki Adams, an 18-year-old protester from Seattle, had a different take.
“I imagined it being dingier, like cracked concrete,” he said.
Singh said Amnesty International based the size of its 19-by-12-foot replica off dimensions once posted on the Pentagon’s Web site.
Everything inside, from the steel toilet to the fluorescent lights, was based off descriptions from a lawyer for former detainee David Hicks of Australia, Singh said.