Moments before he stepped onto the podium for his first State of the Union address, President Trump signed an Executive Order to keep the military prison at Guantánamo Bay open. This order revoked President Obama’s Executive Order to close Guantánamo Bay, signed during his early days in office.
Instead of continuing the work to close the Guantánamo detention facility, the Trump administration is keeping this detention facility open, which continues to hold 40 Muslim men indefinitely, most without charge, and many of whom were tortured by the US government.
One detainee, Toffiq al-Bihani, was among those tortured by the CIA before he was sent to Guantánamo in 2003, where he has since languished without charge or trial. He has been cleared for transfer since 2010. Toffiq is one of five detainees at Guantanamo who have been cleared for transfer to other countries for many years, yet remain imprisoned indefinitely.
Guantánamo is an all-too-easy location for future abuses by the US government to occur. This detention facility should be shut down once and for all. Help us fight for the prison’s closure, and for the transfer of all cleared detainees to countries that will respect their human rights.
Subject: Close Guantanamo
Dear Defense Secretary Esper,
The US government’s use of indefinite detention without charge as a response to 9/11 has been unlawful from the outset. This detention regime must be brought to an end, and any proposal for its continuation or expansion condemned.
The impunity that persists in relation to the torture, enforced disappearance and other human rights violations committed against these detainees is outrageous. Torture and enforced disappearance are crimes under international law.
Guantánamo is an all-too-easy location for future abuses to occur. This detention facility should be shut down once and for all.
I urge you to work toward a lawful solution for the detainees still held at Guantánamo by either bringing individuals to fair trial in ordinary federal court or transferring them. Those detainees already cleared for transfer should be transferred immediately to countries that will respect their human rights. Those who suffered torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment must receive genuine access to rehabilitation and redress. Those responsible for torture and enforced disappearance must be brought to justice in a fair trial without recourse to the death penalty.