Amnesty International on Jan. 10 called the Guantánamo Bay prison camp a "stain on human rights," on the eve of the facility's seventeenth anniversary. Guantánamo prison currently holds 40 detainees, many of whom were tortured by the CIA before being transferred to the facility. Some of these detainees have been cleared for transfer for years, but still remain at the facility. Some have been waiting for transfer as far back as 2010. Since its opening, the Guantánamo facility has housed around 800 prisoners, many without formal charges or due process.
President Barack Obama in January 2009 issued Executive Order 13492 which called for the transfer of prisoners and closure of the Guantánamo detention center within a year. This was stalled during his presidency due to Congress blocking funds for the closure. President Donald Trump canceled the closure of the Guantánamo prison with his own executive order rescinding his predecessor's in January 2018.
Amnesty issued a firm statement calling for the prison's closure:
It is far too easy to imagine that Guantánamo will continue to serve as the site of ongoing human rights violations under a president who holds the cruel and erroneous belief that torture is acceptable. Those who are cleared must be transferred immediately, and all other prisoners should either be charged and fairly tried or released to allow this shameful institution to close permanently.
Amnesty ended its statement by announcing plans to participate in a rally on the anniversary of the prison's opening on Friday Jan. 11 in Lafayette Square outside the White House to call for the prison's closure.
From Jurist, Jan. 10. Used with permission.
Photo via Jurist