For Immediate Release: June 17, 2013
Washington, D.C. – Today, in response to aFreedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg, the Department of Justice (DOJ) released the names, nationalities, and decisions regarding prosecution, detention, or transfer for all remaining detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Previously, the DOJ had withheld the names of those being held.
“It is fundamental to democracy that the public know the identities of the people our nation is depriving of liberty and why they are being detained, ” said Human Rights First’s Dixon Osburn. “The United States has held some of the men at Guantanamo now for over a decade. Today’s revelation is welcome, though long overdue. The administration should use its authority under current law immediately to transfer the 86 detainees already cleared for transfer out of Guantanamo.”
The release of information comes amidst a series of actions that indicate a growing momentum behind finding a comprehensive solution to close Guantanamo. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and Senators Feinstein and McCain recently visited the facilities at Guantanamo Bay where they pledged support for closing the facility. In addition, Human Rights First welcomes the announcement that Clifford Sloan will serve as the new Special Envoy for Guantanamo at the State Department. Also, the House of Representatives on Friday rejected a proposal by Rep. Smith to develop a comprehensive framework for closing Guantanamo, but the debate was the first time the House has had a serious conversation about how to resolve the matter. It is reported that the Senate Armed Services Committee has, in its defense bill, significantly reduced obstacles to closing the prison. The Committee is expected to publish the defense bill this week.
For more information, or to speak with Osburn, contact Brenda Bowser Soder at BowserSoderB@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3323.