The U.S. military announced on Sunday that it had transferred five Yemeni detainees from the Guantánamo Bay detention camp to the United Arab Emirates. In response, Naureen Shah, director of Amnesty International USA’s Security and Human Rights Program, released the following statement:
“Sunday’s transfer is another welcome, if long overdue, move by the administration and a strong sign that the President is committed to closing the detention camp before he leaves office. The five detainees transferred had been held for nearly fourteen years without charges.
“President Obama should be commended for standing up to Congressional leaders who would keep Guantánamo open forever. Now he must follow through on his commitment to close the detention camp by tackling the problem head-on, not relocating it.
“Guantánamo must be closed by ending indefinite detention altogether. Every detainee who has been cleared should be transferred without delay. The remaining detainees should be prosecuted in federal court or released. The administration should abandon any plan to relocate detainees to the United States mainland for indefinite detention.
“We should not be playing politics with the lives of nearly 100 people who have been detained at Guantánamo for well over a decade without charge or trial. At least 29 survivors of the CIA torture program remain there. It’s critical that the United States responsibly close Guantánamo and ensure accountability for human rights violations suffered by detainees.”