Detention Provisions Gravely Hindering Closure of Guantanamo Prison Must Be Removed From the NDAA

Press Release
December 4, 2012

Detention Provisions Gravely Hindering Closure of Guantanamo Prison Must Be Removed From the NDAA

Human Rights Organization Also Urges Inclusion of Provision-Ensuring Security for Afghan Women and Girls

Contact: Sharon Singh, ssingh@aiusa.org, 202-675-8579, @spksingh

(Washington, D.C.) –Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) executive director Suzanne Nossel issued the following statement in response to the U.S. House and Senate versions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) being cleared for conference, where they will be finalized and returned to both chambers for final passage:

"As the conference committee negotiates the final 2013 NDAA, it must remove the detention provisions and include the Casey-Hutchinson Senate-passed amendment ensuring the protection of Afghan women and girls as Afghanistan undergoes its security transition.

"It would be tragic to abandon the protections that women in Afghanistan have fought for so vigorously -- to go to school, get a job and determine their own future. Women and girls represent Afghanistan's hope for a vital future. Their rights must be protected or no one can guarantee Afghanistan's future. The fate of women and girls is integral to realizing a stable and prosperous Afghanistan and the region.

"However, there are also provisions in the Senate and House versions of the NDAA that would gravely hinder the closure of Guantanamo prison and therefore must not be included in the final bill. These provisions include a permanent ban on the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the mainland United States, even for trial; restrictions on the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to other countries; and the 'Feinstein amendment' that would further entrench in U.S. law the indefinite detention of non-citizens.

"If any of these detention provisions are included in the final NDAA, then President Obama must veto the bill. In that case, the President and Congress must pass legislation supporting the protection of Afghan women and girls at the next available opportunity."

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers 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.