UN rights chief calls for Gitmo prison closure

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on April 5 called for US authorities to close down the Guantánamo Bay prison camp, emphasizing the continued indefinite incarcerations of many detainees as a clear violation of international law. Of the 166 detainees in Guantánamo, about half have been cleared for transfer, either to home countries or third countries for resettlement, while only nine of them have actually been charged or convicted of crimes. Pillay stressed that those who have been cleared for release must be released immediately, claiming the US government’s continued detention of these individuals is a violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (PDF). The High Commissioner also expressed concern about the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013, which she says has created obstacles for the closure of Guantánamo as well as for the trials of detainees in civilian courts.

From Jurist, April 5. Used with permission.