Obama urges Guantanamo closure this year, shift from ‘permanent war footing’

Palesa Manaleng

CIA made doctors torture suspected terrorists after 9/11, taskforce finds

According to Economic Times, President Barack Obama told Americans that 2014 should be the year to finally close Guantanamo Bay. “This needs to be the year Congress lifts the remaining restrictions on detainee transfers and we close the prison at Guantanamo Bay,” Obama said. “Because we counter terrorism not just through intelligence and military action, but by remaining true to our constitutional ideals and setting an example for the rest of the world.”

Since early 2002, the beginning of the U.S.-led War on Terror, the base has been  used to house those suspected of terrorist activity or of having ties to  al-Qaeda and the Taliban.  Hundreds of detainees  currently being held in Guantanamo Bay were considered ineligible  for the normal legal process that US prisoners are entitled to, and  unprotected by the prisoner of war statutes of the Geneva Convention by virtue  of being alleged combatants of a “foreign terrorist group” rather than belonging  to a standing foreign army.

President Bush’s passage of the Military Commissions  Act in 2006 authorized the use of military tribunals in place of federal courts  to try the detainees, and justified the use of some forms of torture during interrogations. The physical treatment  and legal contortions sparked international outcry from the United Nations,  human rights organizations and the Cuban government, which complained that the  territory was being used as a “concentration camp.


In his annual  State of the Union address, Obama renewed his old vow, to shut the internationally condemned jail at the  US Naval Base in Cuba.

Zeke Johnson, director of Amnesty  International USA’s Security and Human Rights Program, reacted by saying, ‘We’ve heard this before and now is the time  for action, to finally transfer the 77 Guantanamo detainees cleared to leave,  reveal the names of people killed by drones, end mass surveillance and end the  constant state of war’.

Read more on torture in prisons below:

Syrians describe brutal prison torture

Brutal methods of torture against prisoners in the jails of the occupation

Philippine police investigate claims of ‘torture roulette’ with prison

Secret ‘torture’ jail in Laguna exposed; 10 cops suspended


About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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