Amnesty wants Biden to keep promise to close Guantanamo

2022-01-09 19:42:23
Amnesty wants Biden to keep promise to close Guantanamo

Human rights group Amnesty International has urged US President Joe Biden to keep his promise to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center as the 20th anniversary of its opening approaches.

Designed to detain foreign suspects apprehended by the United States in its "war on terror," the facility at a US military base in Cuba is notorious because of harsh interrogation methods used there that critics say amounted to torture.

Advocates for closing the Guantanamo Bay detention center were optimistic when President Joe Biden took office. And they were relieved this summer after the U.S. released a prisoner for the first time in years. Many are now increasingly impatient.

In the months since that release, there have been few signs of progress in closing the notorious offshore prison on the U.S. base in Cuba. That has led to increased skepticism about Biden’s approach as the administration completes its first year and the detention center reaches a milestone Tuesday — the 20th anniversary of the first prisoners' arrival.

“President Biden has stated his intention to close Guantanamo as a matter of policy but has not taken substantial steps toward closure,” said Wells Dixon, an attorney with the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, which has long taken a leading role in challenging the indefinite confinement without charge at the base.

Roughly 780 people have been detained at Guantanamo since its establishment on January 12, 2002, many of whom haven't been charged with a crime.

Tags: us guantanamo
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