For Immediate Release: July 24, 2013
Human Rights First President and CEO Elisa Massimino testified before Congress on July 24, 2013 and detailed a plan for closing the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo. Massimino’s testimony before Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights comes two months after President Obama’s National Defense University speech reiterating his commitment to shuttering the facility and as Members of Congress from across the political spectrum recognize the importance of making progress toward that goal.
“Some would have you believe that Guantanamo’s critics are limited to a handful of human rights activists, some foreigners, and the defense lawyers for detainees imprisoned there. But that’s not true. The loudest and most persistent voices urging that the prison be closed come from senior defense, law enforcement, intelligence, and diplomatic officials of our government—people with a 360-view of the costs and benefits of Guantanamo who have concluded that our national security is best served by closing it,” Massimino testified. “Whatever one thinks about the initial benefits of detaining prisoners at Guantanamo, there is a growing bipartisan consensus that we no longer need it.”
To accompany Massimino’s testimony, Human Rights First is releasing Guantanamo: A Comprehensive Exit Strategy, a white paper that provides a roadmap for closing the facility and gives practical guidance on how to address the challenges of risk management raise by transferring detainees out of Guantanamo.