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Responding to the Biden administration transferring its first detainee out of Guantánamo Bay, Daphne Eviatar, the director of the Security With Human Rights program said:

“The Biden administration’s first transfer out of Guantánamo is a welcome step. Now we need to see the remaining ten detainees already cleared for release transferred quickly. And we need to see clear plans for shuttering this unlawful facility once and for all.

“The detention facility has been allowed to stay open for far too long, now holding thirty-nine people for almost two decades, most without charge or trial.”

Amnesty International USA continues to campaign for the release of Toffiq al-Bihani and dozens of others unlawfully imprisoned in the facility, while calling for its closure. Al -Bihani, was sent to Guantánamo in 2003, tortured by the CIA and imprisoned without charge or trial by the U.S. government ever since.  On January 22, 2010, U.S. authorities determined that al-Bihani could be transferred to Yemen if the security situation improves there, or to a third country. Saudi Arabia, where al-Bihani has eleven brothers and sisters, agreed to accept him, yet he remains imprisoned today, more than a decade after being approved for transfer.

Background and context

On January 11, 2021 Amnesty International released a report highlighting ongoing human rights violations at the Guantánamo Bay detention facility, as detentions there entered their 20th year and as a new President prepared to enter the White House. The report called for renewed urgency on this issue, accompanied by a genuine commitment to truth, accountability and remedy, as well as a recognition that indefinite detention at Guantánamo must not be allowed to persist any longer.

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