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November 03, 2015

Guantanamo Detainee Cleared for Transfer

Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today praises reports that the Periodic Review Board (PRB) has cleared Guantanamo detainee Abdul Rahman Ahmed for transfer, and urges the Obama Administration to step up its efforts to transfer those cleared from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. The transfer comes as the administration is faced with a defense authorization bill that would severely hamper the president’s ability to close the facility by the end of his term in office.

“President Obama has repeatedly stated that he intends to close Guantanamo Bay but, frankly, he’s not doing what it takes to get the job done,” said Human Rights First’s Raha Wala. “The ball is in his court: he needs to stand firm on his veto of the defense authorization bill, and work quickly to complete Periodic Review Board hearings and transfers of those still languishing at Guantanamo.”

There are 112 detainees at the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay. Military leaders and national security experts agree that the facility harms national security and should be closed. Fifty-two of the remaining detainees are cleared for transfer, and another 47 are eligible for Periodic Review Board (PRB) hearings. 

Human Rights First notes that PRB reviews should have been completed for every eligible detainee over three years ago. Detainees who are not cleared for transfer, or who will face prosecution, will likely need to be transferred to the United States in order to close Guantanamo. 

“With only 14 months left in his term in office, President Obama must make closing Guantanamo a priority,” noted Wala. “Otherwise it will be a piece of unfinished business that tarnishes his legacy.”

Human Rights First’s plan to close Guantanamo is outlined in its latest Blueprint: How to Close Guantanamo.

For more information or to speak with Wala, contact Corinne Duffy at DuffyC@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3319.