North America

Amnesty urges US to close Guantanamo

347034_Amnesty International

Amnesty International says US’s continued operation of the notorious detention camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and the torture of detainees there is a prime example of America’s double standard on human rights.

“Every year that the USA has been operating the Guantánamo detention camp, it has continued to proclaim its commitment to international human rights standards. If any other country was responsible for the human rights vacuum of Guantánamo, it would surely draw the USA’s condemnation. It’s long past time for the US authorities to end this double standard,” Amnesty said on Wednesday.

“Detainees at Guantánamo remain in limbo with their lives on hold for years on end. Many have suffered serious human rights violations, including enforced disappearance and torture, but access to remedy has systematically been blocked and accountability minimal”, said Erika Guevara Rosas, Director of Amnesty International’s Americas Program.

The secrecy regarding human rights violations committed by US military and intelligence officials must come to an end, the organization said.

“Impunity for crimes under international law such as torture and enforced disappearance committed against detainees, including at Guantánamo, is a festering injustice that leaves the USA in serious violation of its international obligations.”

Amnesty also slammed President Barack Obama for not closing Guantanamo as he had promised in 2009 when he first came to office.

“Five years later, this promise of change has become a human rights failure that threatens to haunt President Obama’s legacy, just as it has his predecessor’s.”

More than 150 detainees are still held at Guantánamo, most of them are held without charge or trial. The first detainees were brought there 12 years ago after being captured during America’s so-called War on Terror.

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