Amnesty International Urges the Bush Administration to Release or Provide Fair Trials to All Remaining Guantanamo Detainees

Human Rights Organization to Launch Guantanamo Cell Replica National

Tour on May 8 in Miami

May 02, 2008, 01:00 ET from Amnesty International

    WASHINGTON, May 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --As nine more detainees were
 freed from the U.S.-controlled detention facility at Guantanamo Bay,
 Amnesty International today reiterated that these detentions are a travesty
 of justice. The Bush administration must either bring to fair trial or
 release, with full protections against further abuse, the 270 detainees
 still held there.
     The nine men were the first to be released from the naval base this
 year. Among them is Al Jazeera cameraman Sami al Hajj, held without charge
 at the facility for almost six years. Amnesty International remains
 particularly concerned for his health and well-being after his years of
 indefinite detention and other alleged abuses, including in the context of
 his prolonged hunger strike.
     Sami al Hajj was repatriated with two other Sudanese nationals held at
 Guantanamo, Yacoub al-Amir and Walid Ali. Sami al Hajj was taken straight
 from the plane to hospital on a stretcher.
     A fourth detainee, Said Boujaadia, was returned to Morocco, where he is
 reported to have been taken into custody by the judicial police in
 Casablanca. Amnesty International will continue to monitor his situation
 and calls on the Moroccan authorities to ensure that his treatment fully
 complies with international law. He should be given access to legal counsel
 and independent medical care, and either charged promptly with recognizable
 criminal offenses and brought to fair trial, or released.
     Five detainees were also transferred to Afghanistan, according to the
 Pentagon. The organization has no further details on these detainees at
 this stage. It similarly calls on the Afghan authorities to ensure that all
 treatment and any trials of returned detainees fully comply with
 international law and standards, and in no way perpetuates the unlawful
 treatment that the Guantanamo detainees have faced.
     "The U.S. government should abandon its trials by military commissions,
 which are not independent of the same branch of government that has
 authorized and condoned abuses against detainees and which may rely on
 information coerced under ill-treatment," said Amnesty International.
     As well as denying those held at Guantanamo and elsewhere the right to
 challenge their detentions in an independent and impartial court, in line
 with the centuries old right to habeas corpus, the U.S. authorities have
 subjected detainees to treatment and conditions that violate the absolute
 prohibition on torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
 Investigations into such abuses have been inadequate.
     In Miami, Amnesty International will launch its national tour of a
 life-size Guantanamo prison cell replica. The public will have the
 opportunity to experience the cell and continue to push the Bush
 administration to shut down the U.S.-controlled detention facility in
 Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The cell replica will travel around the country,
 including stops in Philadelphia, Portland, Maine and Washington, DC.
     "The U.S. government must permanently close the Guantanamo detention
 facility, and put an end to the secret detention program operated by the
 CIA. The United States must bring all its detentions everywhere into full
 compliance with international law and standards," said Amnesty
 International. "There must be full accountability for all human rights
 violations, including the international crimes of torture and enforced
     For more information about Amnesty International's cell tour or its
 work on Guantanamo, please go to or contact the AIUSA
 media office at 202.544.0200 x302.

SOURCE Amnesty International