Obama considering indefinite detention for some Guantanamo prisoners: report

[JURIST] US President Barack Obama [official website] is considering issuing an executive order for the indefinite detention [AP report] of some Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees in order to facilitate the closure of the facility, two administration officials told the Associated Press Friday. According to the report, the move is being considered in response to Congress's reluctance to provide funding for the facility's closure without a firm plan for the disposition of detainees in place. No plans have been finalized, and the executive order, if issued, would not likely take effect until the 2010 budget year begins in October. Currently there are 229 detainees at the Guantanamo Bay facility, and the indefinite detention order would only apply to a small number deemed to dangerous to release. Others will be tried in civilian courts or in modified military tribunals, while the remainder will likely be released to other countries.

Last month, the US House of Representatives passed a spending bill [HR 2847 materials] that denied [JURIST report] the Obama administration's request for $60 million to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center and placed limits on the government's ability to transfer detainees to the US and release detainees to foreign countries. The House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies [official website] approved an earlier version [JURIST report] of Thursday's bill that also denied Obama the funds to close the facility. In May, Obama defended his plan [JURIST report] to close down Guantanamo Bay and try its detainees in federal courts and modified military tribunals. Obama's speech came a day after the US Senate passed an amendment [JURIST report] eliminating $80 million intended to be used for the closure of Guantanamo until the president provides a "comprehensive, responsible plan" to do so.

 

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