(Washington, D.C., 11/19/13) -- On Friday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) joined 18 human rights and civil liberties organizations in calling on the Senate to support Guantanamo Bay detainee transfer provisions included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2014 (S. 1197).
The coalition is urging the Senate to adopt without change Senate NDAA provisions (Sections 1031, 1032 and 1033), as adopted by the Senate Armed Services Committee, which will help protect American values and human rights and facilitate the end of indefinite detention without charge or trial at Guantanamo Bay.
Last night, the Senate passed its first procedural vote on the NDAA and soon after approved a motion to advance to a voice vote. The Senate is expected to consider the NDAA throughout the remainder of the week with the goal of completing the act before the Senate’s Thanksgiving recess.
Specifically, the letter supports:
“Guantanamo provisions in the Senate NDAA [that] clarify and modify the executive’s existing authority to transfer detainees to foreign countries and provide important additional flexibility to close Guantanamo responsibly. Specifically, the provisions in the Senate NDAA replace a cumbersome certification and waiver regime with a more sensible, factor-based standard designed to mitigate any risks related to transfer.”
As of November, 164 detainees remain at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp without charge or trial, and many of them have been held for more than 11 years. Since 2010, 86 detainees have been approved for release by the Administration’s Guantanamo Review Task Force, yet only 2 have been transfer in the past year.
CAIR has provided a click-and-send letter addressed to your Senator that support of the Guantanamo transfer provisions. CAIR believes that the prison at Guantanamo has become a symbol of our government's erosion of civil liberties over the past 12 years.
Only when we as a nation address the issue of indefinite military detention can we begin to restore those liberties and repair our international reputation as a country committed to the rule of law.