The military prison at Guantánamo Bay remains a stain on the human rights record of the United States and continues to present site for ongoing violations as long as it stays open, said Amnesty International USA on the eve of the January 11 anniversary of its opening.
“When President Trump revoked President Obama’s order to close the military prison at Guantánamo, he opened the door for a whole new era of horrific human rights violations to take place,” said Daphne Eviatar, director of Security with Human Rights at Amnesty International USA.
“While the prison should have been relegated long ago as an appalling chapter in U.S. history, Guantánamo continues to operate 17 years later as a symbol of Islamophobia that embodies the fear-mongering and xenophobia that defines Trump’s presidency.”
Guantánamo currently holds 40 Muslim men, many of whom were tortured. Some of these detainees have been cleared for transfer for years, but still remain. Among them is Toffiq al-Bihani, who was among those tortured by the CIA before he was sent to Guantánamo in 2003. He has been cleared for transfer since 2010.
“It is far too easy to imagine that Guantánamo will continue to serve as the site of ongoing human rights violations under a president who holds the cruel and erroneous belief that torture is acceptable. Those who are cleared must be transferred immediately, and all other prisoners should either be charged and fairly tried or released to allow this shameful institution to close permanently.”
Amnesty International USA will join other human rights organizations at a rally in Washington, D.C.’s Lafayette Park tomorrow at 2:30 to call for the closure of the prison.