Protesters Demand Release of Guantanamo Prisoners
Created: 2013-06-18 17:48 EST
One day before U.S. President Barack Obama was to arrive in Germany, some 400 protesters demonstrated for the release of all Guantanamo prisoners during a march in Berlin on Monday (June 17).
Carrying banners reading "no foreign military missions!" and "end Cuban blockade!," the demonstrators marched to Berlin's landmark, the Brandenburg Gate where Obama is scheduled to hold a speech in front of some 4,000 invited guests on Wednesday.
Police had sealed off the landmark as well as the nearby U.S. embassy as one protester called it "outrageous how the red carpet is being rolled out for this man."
[Detlef Kalkbrenner, Protester]:
"I find it outrageous how the red carpet is being rolled out for this man. How many years has it been since he wanted to close Guantanamo? I don't even remember myself. Nobel Peace Prize? Don't you think that's ridiculous? It's a shame, this man is a shame."
Another demonstration participant who gave her name as Elisa said "I am demonstrating against the prison in Guantanamo because the people there are imprisoned without being charged and without hope for defence or release."
Obama is expected to arrive in Berlin from the G8 summit in Northern Ireland on Tuesday evening and to hold talks on Wednesday with Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Joachim Gauck and others.
While organisers estimated the numbers of participants at 600, German police put the figure at 400.