U.S. Government Says It Hopes to Complete Gitmo PRBs within One Year

As we’ve written before, completing the Periodic Review Board (PRB) hearings for Guantanamo detainees is essential for closing the prison. The reviews determine whether detainees pose a continuing threat to the United States. If cleared, they can be transferred home or to a third country. Without the PRBs, many people who may pose little or no risk to the United States remain in indefinite detention.

Unfortunately, the PRBs have moved sluggishly—it took more than two years for them to begin, and at the current rate, the hearings won’t be completed until 2020. The government has said that keeping the PRBs moving is a priority, but hasn’t demonstrated that with action.

But things might be looking up. In 2015, the hearings may have finally started moving: there have been four so far. Government officials are also expressing hope for continued progress.

Yesterday the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights held a hearing on the detainees’ situation in Guantanamo, one of at least ten since 2002. When questioned about the slow pace of the PRBs, Charles Trumbull, acting Special Envoy for Guantanamo, told the Committee that he hoped the PRBs would be complete within a year.

This statement is one of the first indications that the administration has a timeline for the prison’s closure. It’s certainly a step in the right direction. Now it needs to follow through.


Published on March 17, 2015


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