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(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - In response to the Senate vote on the Guantanamo transfer provisions as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2014 (S. 1197), Zeke Johnson, Director of Amnesty International USA's Security & Human Rights Program and an observer of the military commissions at Guantanamo, issued the following statement:
"Finally, the Senate did the right thing on Guantanamo. The new detainee transfer provisions will help ensure that each detainee is either given a safe and fair trial in US federal court or is transferred to another country if cleared to leave.
"Section 1031 of the Senate bill would facilitate the transfer to other countries of cleared detainees; Section 1032 would allow transfers to the mainland U.S. for medical treatment; and Section 1033 would allow transfers to the mainland U.S. for trial. These provisions must be preserved through the reconciliation process with the House provisions.
"Furthermore, President Obama need not wait for final passage to move forward with transfers under current law. People like Shaker Aamer, cleared to leave with a safe place to go that wants him - the U.K. - should be transferred out immediately."
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.