For Immediate Release
Indefinite Detention Should End With The Closure Of Guantánamo, Says ACLU
Prison Should Be Closed As Soon As Possible And In Accordance With Rule Of Law
NEW YORK - According
to a Washington Post and ProPublica report, it is unlikely the Obama
administration will meet its January deadline for closing Guantánamo.
The delay is reportedly due in part to the administration’s search for
a place to indefinitely imprison 50 to 60 detainees. The American Civil
Liberties Union opposes the indefinite detention of detainees suspected
of terrorism crimes and challenges the notion that there is any
significant category of detainees who can neither be securely freed or
prosecuted in federal court.
The following can be attributed to Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU National Security Project:
"We are concerned by reports of
possible delays in the closure of Guantánamo, which holds hundreds of
men who have been imprisoned for years without charge or trial and has
become a symbol of lawlessness and cruelty. The prison camp should be
closed as soon as possible.
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"As important as when Guantánamo is
closed, however, is how it is closed. Closing Guantánamo must include
ending the policies that the prison has come to represent, such as
indefinite detention without charge or trial. It would be unacceptable
to close Guantánamo only to institute the same policies at similar
facilities elsewhere in the world.
"We are also deeply troubled by the
reported suggestion by administration officials that, even after
Guantánamo is closed, as many as 60 terrorism suspects – including
individuals with no connection to any conventional battlefield – may
continue to be held indefinitely without charge or trial. If there is
evidence to support the allegation that these men have committed
crimes, the government should file charges and prosecute them in
federal courts, which are perfectly capable of handing terrorism cases
while protecting fundamental rights. In a democracy, there is no room
for a system of detention that allows human beings to be imprisoned
indefinitely without charge or trial."
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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.