Amnesty International Asks Why Obama Can't Close GTMO by His Deadline

Human rights organization says detainees need to be charged and tried in a federal court or released immediately; no more excuses

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Larry Cox, Amnesty International USA executive director, issued the following statement in response to President Barack Obama's remarks that the U.S.-controlled detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will not be closed by his January 22, 2010, deadline:

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"President Obama may not be disappointed that he will fail to close Guantanamo by his original target date, but millions of people around the world who care about human rights and the rule of law will be extremely disheartened.

"The president needs to explain to the 69 individuals who are cleared for release but are still languishing at Guantanamo why he feels no urgency about righting a terrible wrong and allowing them to move their lives forward. Amnesty International continues to reiterate that all the detainees remaining in Guantanamo must be charged and tried in a federal court or released immediately.

"Closing Guantanamo is not a feel-good photo opportunity; it is a national security priority and a global obligation. President Obama needs to show leadership and political will and not use Congress as his latest excuse to avoid fulfilling his own campaign promise to close the facility within one year."

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.2 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

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SOURCE Amnesty International


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