16 years on, US continues detention without charge at Guantánamo

January 10, 2018

Image of detainees in Guantanamo bay

Human rights organization Reprieve has called for all branches of the US government to uphold fundamental values enshrined in US law by ending the practice of detention without charge or trial at Guantánamo Bay. The renewed call comes ahead of the 16th anniversary of Guantánamo’s opening.

On 11 January 2002, the authorities opened the detention facility, where at least 780 men would ultimately be held. Today, 41 men are still detained. Some 31 of the men have endured at least a decade of detention without being charged with a crime by US courts.

Reprieve’s clients have recently reported being denied medical treatment, and subjected to fresh abuses. These compound the recent history of US torture in detention, including those practices outlined in the US Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA detention and interrogation.

The call comes ahead of an event in DC on Thursday 11th, where the Center for Constitutional Rights, Reprieve, and counsel for several other detainees will announced a court filing challenging President Trump’s Guantánamo policy.

Commenting, Reprieve attorney Shelby Sullivan-Bennis, who represents Guantánamo detainees, said:

“It’s shameful that 16 years after the opening of Guantánamo, we are still holding people without charge or trial on the basis of faulty ‘intelligence’ extracted through torture. Guantánamo is a violation of America’s strongest-held principles concerning the rule of law. If our current President really wants to make America great again, he should make 2018 the year that we close this legal black hole. It is the responsibility of the courts and Congress to hold him to account in doing so.”

Notes to Editors:

1. Reprieve is an international human rights organization. Reprieve’s media team can be contacted on media@reprieve.org.uk, or +44 (0) 207 553 8140.

2. At a press conference tomorrow (11th), the Center for Constitutional Rights, Reprieve, and other counsel for Guantánamo detainees will announce a court filing challenging Trump’s Guantánamo policy. The event will take place at 9:30 am (ET) at the National Press Club, Zenger Room, 529 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20045. To register, email chayslett@ccrjustice.org with ‘press conference’ in the subject line.