The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Maria Archuleta, (917) 892-9180 or (212) 549-2666;

Attorney General Says Guantanamo Closure Will Likely Be Delayed

Prison Should Be Closed As Soon As Possible And In Accordance With Rule Of Law, Says ACLU


to news reports, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said it is unlikely
the Obama administration will meet its January deadline for closing the
Guantanamo prison camp. According to prior reports, the delay is 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

The following can be attributed to Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU National Security Project:

"We are very concerned by Attorney
General Holder's announcement that the Obama administration will miss
its January deadline for closing Guantanamo, 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
shut down as soon as possible.

"However, as important as when
Guantanamo is closed is that it is closed right. With the closure of
Guantanamo must also come the end of the policies that the prison has
come to represent, such as indefinite detention without charge or
trial. It would be unacceptable to close Guantanamo only to institute
the same policies elsewhere.

"If there is evidence to support
allegations that the men detained in Guantanamo 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."

The American Civil Liberties Union was founded in 1920 and is our nation's guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

(212) 549-2666