School of the Americas: 6 Jailed for Non Violent Protest
TRIALS BEGIN IN GEORGIA FOR 32 HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATES
From School of the Americas Watch
COLUMBUS, GA The week after a military jury in Colorado decided not to jail an Army interrogator even after they found him guilty of negligent homicide in the torture and killing of an Iraqi detainee, a federal judge in Columbus, Georgia is sentencing nonviolent activists to federal prison.
This morning, Judge G. Mallon Faircloth sentenced six human rights advocates, including an 81-year-old retired man, to between one and three months in prison; five of those individuals were also fined $500. Twenty-six people still face charges, and trials are expected to continue for several days. Each person faces a maximum sentence of six months in prison and a $5,000 fine.
The 32 defendants, ranging in age from 19 to 81, are charged with trespass after peacefully walking onto the Fort Benning military base in protest of a controversial Army training school located there. Those arrested were among 19,000 who gathered in November of 2005 outside the gates of Fort Benning to demand a dramatic shift in U.S. foreign policy and the closure of the controversial U.S. Army's School of the Americas, now called the Western Hemisphere Institute of Security Cooperation.