Immediately Close the Prison at Guantanamo Bay
- As of July 2013, 166 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 none have been cleared for transfer.
- At present, 96 detainees remain on hunger strike in protest of their indefinite detention status. These prisoners are being force-fed through nasal tubes by military doctors, a practice condemned by the World Medical Association, the American Medical Association, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
- Operating Guantanamo is fiscally imprudent: the cost of holding a detainee there is approximately $1.6 million per year, compared to $34,046 per year at a Federal Prison.
What Is Being Asked of Congress and the President
- A return to due process and the rule of law – the immediate release or civilian trial of all remaining detainees.
- That the 86 prisoners already cleared for release be transferred to their home countries or other countries for resettlement without delay.
- That the US immediately and permanently stops force-feeding Guantanamo prisoners and for an independent medical professional team to review and monitor all hunger-strikers.
- Moreover, CAIR cautions against the closure of GITMO being accomplished by creating a comparable facility with the same inadequate judicial processes inside the US.
- Reports of abuse and a lack of due process at Guantanamo have internationally tarnished our nation’s ability and moral authority to prosecute suspected terrorists in U.S. custody.
- In 2005, Amnesty International referred to Guantanamo as the “Gulag of our times.”
- In 2009, President Obama signed an executive order to close the prison within in a year, stating this action would “restore the standards of due process and the core constitutional values that have made this country great even in the midst of war. …”
- In July 2013, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said during a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on closing Guantanamo, “Our national security and military leaders have concluded that the risk of keeping Guantanamo open far outweighs the risk of closing it because the facility continues to harm our alliances and serve as a recruitment tool for terrorists.”
- At the same hearing, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) remarked, “This [Guantanamo] is a massive waste of money.”
- On July 26th, 2013, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel signed off on the transfer of two detainees who have been approved for release to their homes in Algeria.