• Press Release

On 10th Anniversary of First “War on Terror” Detainees’ Arrival in Guantánamo, Passage of NDAA Revitalizes Detention Facility, Says Amnesty International

January 11, 2012

Human rights organization and other coalition partners to hold vigils, demonstrations and rallies to mark anniversary and urge President Obama to keep his promise to shut down the detention facility

Contact: AIUSA media relations office, 202-509-8194

(Washington) — Amnesty International USA's (AIUSA) policy director for (counter) terrorism and human rights, Tom Parker, issued the following statement to mark the 10th anniversary of the transfer if the first detainees to the U.S.-controlled detention facility at Guantánamo Bay.

"Ten years on, we should be witnessing the closure of Guantánamo and the end of unlawful detention policies.  Instead, we are marking this anniversary with profound disappointment that Guantánamo not only remains firmly entrenched in U.S. policy, but has been revitalized with the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

"There is plenty of blame to go around. Congress has worked diligently to block the President's attempts to close Guantánamo, but the President has also failed to make the case to the American people that it must be closed. By failing to fight for the principles he articulated on the campaign trail, President Obama has encouraged his opponents to redouble their efforts to keep open Guantánamo.

"There can be little doubt that rejuvenation of Guantánamo is a catastrophe for the international reputation of the United States and for the promotion of human rights worldwide. Instead of putting an end to this symbol of the United States' human rights failures, the U.S. government just revitalized it under new management."

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries 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.

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