For Immediate Release
CCR Responds to Death of Awal Gul at Guantanamo Bay
NEW YORK - Today, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) issued the following statement in response to the death of Awal Gul at Guantánamo Bay:
"CCR expresses deep regret at the death of Guantánamo detainee Awal Gul. A citizen of Afghanistan, Mr. Gul was detained for nearly nine years without charge or trial.
Awal Gul's death illustrates too well what Guantánamo has become - a prison where Muslim men are held indefinitely until they die because the president lacks political courage to release or charge them in any forum.
President Obama must close Guantánamo lest more detainees die there, including roughly 90 men who are approved for transfer at some undetermined point in the future.
CCR also condemns the Defense Department for recycling untested allegations of Awal Gul's association with terrorism. If history shows anything, these claims were likely coerced out of Mr. Gul or others, and would likely collapse under judicial review.
It shames the Defense Department to speak ill of the dead to justify the years-long detention of a man who never saw the inside of a courtroom.
This is the seventh reported death of a detainee at Guantanamo, none of which have been adequately investigated. The military has taken years to release the findings of its investigations, if at all. And with respect to three men who died at the prison in June 2006, which the military reported as suicides, its findings were thrown into serious question after soldiers stationed at the base at the time came forward with evidence of a government cover-up of the true circumstances of the deaths."
CCR has led the legal battle over Guantánamo for the last nine years - sending the first ever habeas attorney to the base and sending the first attorney to meet with an individual transferred from CIA "ghost detention" to Guantánamo. CCR has been responsible for organizing and coordinating more than 500 pro bono lawyers across the country to represent the men at Guantánamo, ensuring that nearly all have the option of legal representation. In addition, CCR has been working to resettle the approximately 30 men who remain at Guantánamo because they cannot return to their country of origin for fear of persecution and torture.
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The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.