The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Robyn Shepherd, (917) 302-7189 or 549-2666;

ACLU Responds To Decision To Halt Guantanamo Transfers To Yemen

Group Also Decries Court Decision Upholding Sweeping Presidential Detention Powers


a press conference today, President Obama announced that the U.S. will
halt all transfers of Guantanamo detainees to Yemen, potentially
obstructing his expressed intention to close the military prison.
Approximately 35 Yemeni detainees had been cleared for release prior to
today's announcement.

today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia denied a
Yemeni detainee's appeal for release from Guantanamo. The court found
that the detention of Ghaleb Nassar Al-Bihani, who has been held
without charge at the prison since 2002, is lawful. The opinion further
suggested that courts could ignore international law.

The following can be attributed to Ben Wizner, staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project:

we appreciate that President Obama stated that he is still determined
to close Guantanamo, the decision to halt all transfers of detainees to
Yemen will prolong a shameful chapter in American history without
making Americans any safer. Continuing to detain individuals who have
been cleared for release simply because they come from a certain
country is unwise, unjust and does absolutely nothing to improve our

The following can be attributed to Jonathan Hafetz, staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project:

eight years, the continued detention of prisoners without charge is an
affront to the Constitution. Today's court opinion is a setback to
justice and the rule of law. The unnecessary endorsement of excessive
military detention power and the suggestion that America is free to
defy international law flouts all precedent and, if actually adopted,
would jeopardize America's security as well as its values."

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.

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