(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/27/13) - Yesterday, President Obama signed into law the annual defense spending bill passed by Congress that eases transfer restrictions on inmates from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to foreign nations. The law will ease some of the more rigid transfer provisions that Congress had previously placed on the administration and foreign nations willing to accept prisoners.
The 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will make it easier for the U.S. government to close the prison at Guantanamo, which continues to challenge our nation's commitment to the rule of law and worsens our international reputation.
This move follows the recent repatriation of two Guantanamo prisoners to Saudi Arabia and two more to Sudan.
CAIR thanks the thousands of concerned citizens who responded to our Guantanamo Bay prison action alerts over the past eight years, visiting their members of Congress, making phone calls, and sending countless emails.
CAIR encourages President Obama to use his new-found authorities to begin the process of transferring prisoners that have already been cleared for release to those nations will to accept them.
Last week, CAIR joined fellow civil liberties, human rights, and religious organizations in a letter to Congress thanking the House and Senate for the improved overseas transfer provisions that were included in the NDAA.
While CAIR remains optimistic that in 2014 the situation at Guantanamo will improve -- we remain concerned over the lack of due process for prisoners that remain in indefinite detention at Guantanamo without a hearing or trial -- and disappointed in Congress for not doing anything to address the controversial threat of indefinite military detention of persons on U.S. soil as authorized by the previous 2011 NDAA.
CAIR will remain vigilant in 2014, safeguarding the constitutional values which are meant to protect all Americans, persons who reside in the U.S., and those in U.S. custody from the abuses of indefinite detention and lack of due process.