Washington, DC, Saturday, January 11, 2014.- Today, the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) joined a multitude of civil society organizations and peaceful protesters in Washington, D.C., in demanding the immediate closure of the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo, in compliance with its human rights obligations.
“Since we first obtained precautionary measures from the Inter-American Commission in 2002, Guantanamo has become a symbol of grave breaches of international law in the fight against terrorism,” said Viviana Krsticevic, Executive Director of the Center for Justice and International Law. “Justice delayed is justice denied, and the United States has delayed twelve years too long in finally fulfilling its international obligations.”
As 155 men remain arbitrarily detained and Guantanamo begins its 13th year of operations, the United States still has not complied with its duty under human rights law to determine the legal basis for the men’s detention by a competent tribunal and try or release all detainees in accordance with international law; to investigate, prosecute and punish all instances of torture and ill-treatment; and to refrain from sending detainees to countries where they may be at risk of torture.
The United States government’s repeated failure to comply with these obligations was evidenced in resolutions in 2006 and 2011 by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), among other international human rights bodies, finding that the State had caused irreparable harm to the detainees, and ordering the detention center’s immediate closure.
On May 1, 2013, as a mass hunger strike threatened the lives and well-being of the detainees, the IACHR issued a Joint Declaration together with the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, the UN Special Rapporteur on countering terrorism, the UN Special Rapporteur on health, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, emphatically reiterating the need to “adopt concrete measures to end the indefinite detention of persons; provide for their release or prosecution, in accordance with due process and the principles and standards of international human rights law; allow for independent monitoring by international human rights bodies; and close the detention center at the Guantánamo Naval Base".