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(WASHINGTON, DC) – Two weeks after the Guantánamo Bay detention site entered its 15th year of operation, the detention site faces a new milestone. As of tomorrow, January 30, Guantánamo will have been open longer under President Obama’s administration than the previous administration which opened the site for indefinite detention. Obama has transferred 16 detainees out of the prison this month and recommitted to closing Guantánamo before he leaves office during his last State of the Union speech.
Marking tomorrow’s date, Naureen Shah, director of Amnesty International USA's Security and Human Rights program, issued the following statement:
“With Guantánamo now open longer on his watch than on former President Bush’s, President Obama’s human rights legacy is on the line. In some ways, Obama will be defined by whether he chose to end fifteen years of injustice and human rights violations at Guantánamo.
“President Obama was able to cut the prison’s population by nearly 10 percent this month alone and he must continue to show he’s undeterred by congressional threats and fear mongering. The prison should be shuttered, and detainees who cannot be transferred should be charged in federal court or released. There must be accountability for the torture and other human rights violations that many of the detainees have suffered.”
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning global movement of more than 7 million people who campaign for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.