Amnesty International Welcomes Improved Foreign Transfer Provision for Guantanamo Detainees in NDAA

Press Release
December 9, 2013

Amnesty International Welcomes Improved Foreign Transfer Provision for Guantanamo Detainees in NDAA

President Obama Must Move Forward with the Transfer of Cleared Detainees

Contact: Gabe Cahn, West End Strategy Team, gabe@westendstrategy.com, (office): 202.776.7700, (cell): 202.412.1678

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Today, Senator Carl Levin, Chair of the Armed Services Committee, announced a compromise for moving forward with passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2014. With respect to the Guantanamo transfer provisions, Senator Levin indicated that the final bill will include the Senate approved provision covering the transfer of detainees to countries other than the United States, and the House approved provision restricting transfers to the United States mainland.

Said Steven Hawkins, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA: "Today, Congress took one step forward and one step back on Guantanamo. The Senate's provision that clarifies transfers to other countries is an important and welcome improvement that President Obama must leverage as soon as possible. However, the House's restriction on transfers to the US, even for trial or medical treatment, is a terrible blow for human rights. President Obama must find a solution to end the Guantanamo crisis."

President Obama should immediately ensure that each detainee is either charged and fairly tried in federal court, or released. Under international law, domestic law and politics are no excuse for violating treaty obligations, including the right to a fair trial.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million members in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.