Obama Reaffirms Plan to Close Guantanamo

Washington, D.C. – Today in his first public response to the ongoing hunger strike and force feedings at Guantanamo, President Obama said in a press conference that he is actively seeking to close Guantanamo, to transfer detainees who are cleared for release, and that he will work with lawmakers to overcome challenges from Congress. In response to President Obama’s remarks, Human Rights First’s Daphne Eviatar said:

“President Obama is right. Guantanamo does not make our nation safer and is a problem that will continue to fester if it is left unaddressed. We praise his restated commitment to shuttering the facility and working with members of his team to transfer those detainees who are cleared for release. We also urge Congress to reengage with the White House in this effort and to clear the path for the ultimate closure of this facility. The writing is on the wall. It’s time for the failed Guantanamo experiment to end and for our nation to return to the values that have kept us strong.”

Human Rights First has asked the administration to prioritize transfer of those cleared for release and to close the facility. Today’s White House remarks indicate that the President now plans to rededicate his team to this task.

To speak with Eviatar please contact Brenda Bowser Soder at [email protected]. For more information about how the administration should proceed as it works to close the facility, see Human Rights First’s resources:

Fact Sheet: Guantánamo by the Numbers
Blueprint: How to Close Guantanamo
Fact Sheet: Myth v. Fact: Trying Terrorism Suspects in Federal Court
Fact Sheet: Federal Courts Continue to Take Lead in Counterterrorism Prosecutions
Infographic: Terrorism Convictions Have Been Secured in Federal Court Across the United States


Published on April 30, 2013


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