For Immediate Release
Amnesty International Welcomes Secretary Gates’ Orders to Develop Plan to Close Guantanamo
Human Rights Organization Urges a Fair and Transparent Plan
WASHINGTON - Larry Cox, executive director of Amnesty International USA, issued the following statement following reports that U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has ordered his staff to develop a plan to close the U.S.-controlled detention center in Guantanamo Bay:
"Amnesty International heartily welcomes today's news that Secretary Gates is moving forward to develop a plan to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay which is in line with President-elect Barack Obama's stated priority to shut down the notorious prison.
"The current military commission regime at Guantanamo Bay should be dismantled. Any plan to end the illegal and unjust imprisonment at the detention facility must adhere to domestic and international humanitarian standards. Those who face trials must be tried in fair and impartial tribunals such as a U.S. federal court. All others must be returned or resettled in countries, including the United States, where they will not face torture or other ill-treatment.
"Amnesty International hopes that this news signals a solid and genuine commitment by the incoming administration that the United States will soon return to the rule of law and begin to resume its role as a champion of human rights around the globe."
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Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.2 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.