March 02, 2011
Obama Administration Urged to Lay Groundwork for Closing Guantanamo
Washington, DC – Human Rights First is urging the Obama Administration to take steps that will hasten its ability to close the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo. The call comes just one day after Attorney General Eric Holder testified before a House appropriations subcommittee and reiterated the Obama Administration’s continuing commitment to close Guantanamo despite funding restrictions imposed by Congress in last year’s National Defense Authorization Act. “Attorney General Holder’s testimony reaffirmed the statement made by President Obama when signing the Act in January, when he asserted that the administration will ‘seek repeal of these restrictions, will seek to mitigate their effects, and will oppose any attempt to extend or expand them in the future.’ To fulfill that commitment, the Obama Administration must act now to lay the groundwork to close Guantanamo. The Department of Justice should immediately seek indictments against those charged with crimes and aggressively determine which of the 59 prisoners cleared for release may be sent home or to a third country in accordance with the restrictions imposed by congress,” said Human Rights First’s Devon Chaffee.