(WASHINGTON, DC) — As the Senate Armed Services Committee concluded its markup of the Detaining Terrorists to Protect America Act, which seeks to impose new restrictions on the transfer of Guantanamo detainees, Amnesty International USA Security & Human Rights Program Director Naureen Shah issued the following statement:
“Just as the Obama administration makes long overdue progress on emptying Guantanamo, some members of Congress are blatantly distorting the facts and engaging in fear mongering, with the aim of keeping Guantanamo open indefinitely and even to take in new detainees. The longer Guantanamo stays open, the greater the risk that it will serve as a kind of permanent jail for the U.S.’s ‘forever war.’
“Over 100 men remain held indefinitely without charge or trial– nearly half of them cleared for transfer. Many of them have spent more than a decade like this. It’s long past time to transfer those men cleared by the government’s own national security experts, and to ensure the remaining detainees are either fairly tried in federal court or released.”
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Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning global movement of more than 7 million people 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.