Amnesty International demands closure of Guantanamo Bay

[JURIST] Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] issued a press release [text] Monday demanding the US close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, calling the prison's continued operation "a prime example of the USA's double standard on human rights." The report focuses heavily on the continued detention of individuals that have been approved for transfer, including a group of Yemeni detainees held in Guantanamo because of security situations in their home countries. Erika Guevara Rosas, director of AI's Americas program,condemned the prison's operation five years after President Barack Obama signed an executive order to close the facility stating that the detainees "access to remedy has systematically been blocked and accountability minimal." The report calls on US authorities to "ensure independent and impartial investigations into all credible allegations of human rights violations carried out at Guantanamo and against detainees held elsewhere." According to the advocacy group over 150 prisoners still remain interned at Guantanamo, and many have been held without charge or trial.

The treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST backgrounder] has raised humanitarian concerns internationally, and in recent months the US has grappled [JURIST op-ed] with the complexities of the laws of war and the legal rights of due process for detainees. Earlier this week the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that a lower court was correct in dismissing the claim for damages brought by Abdul Rahim Abdul Razak Al Janko, a former Guantanamo detainee, on jurisdictional grounds. Earlier in January the panel review board (PRB) administered by the US Department of Defense (DOD) under Executive Order 13567 [text] concluded its first review and cleared [JURIST report] a former Guantanamo detainee for transfer to Yemen. A week prior three Uighur Muslim detainees were transferred to Slovakia and in December of last year two Guantanamo detainees were transferred [JURIST reports] to Saudi Arabia. Also last December the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed [JURIST report] a denial of a writ of habeas corpus for a Guantanamo detainee.

 

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