16 years on, the US continues detention without charge at Guantánamo

Image of Guantanamo closing down

by Shelby Sullivan-Bennis, Reprieve attorney who represents Guantánamo detainees

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.

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.

If the 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.

Today, on the 16th anniversary of Guantánamo’s opening, Reprieve and people all around the world are making renewed calls 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.

Reprieve’s clients, the people I represent, 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.

Today, Reprieve, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and counsel for several other detainees will announced a court filing challenging President Trump’s Guantánamo policy.

More to come…

 

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16 years since Guantanamo’s opening – all you need to know about America’s illegal prison, and the movement to close it.

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