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CEJIL condemns indefinite detention of individuals without trial and calls on the US to abide by its international obligations
Guantanamo´s 10th anniversary
Washington D.C, 11th January, 2012 – Ten years after Guantanamo Bay detention center opened and three since President Obama issued an Executive Order mandating its closure, the prison still remains in operation. As of today, 173 men face indefinite detention in Guantanamo and high ranking officials have not yet been prosecuted for authorizing the use of torture during interrogations. In addition, on December 31st, 2011, the US President signed the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, which officially legalizes indefinite detention of individuals without trial.
In August 2011, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), an autonomous organ of the Organization of American States, approved a resolution condemning the ongoing detention of individuals at Guantanamo Bay without charge and calling upon the United States to bring to trial or release all remaining detainees. This is the fourth resolution issued by the IACHR since it emitted its first precautionary measures in 2002, which according to international law, must be implemented by the United States for the protection of all Guantanamo detainees.
The Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), a Washington based human rights NGO, once again urges the United States government to comply with the IACHR´s resolution by conducting trials that are respectful of the defendant’s rights to due process of law; investigating and prosecuting all persons responsible for torture and other inhumane acts perpetrated against Guantanamo Bay detainees; and providing judicial guarantees in the transfer process of Guantanamo detainees to third countries. The non-refoulement obligation states, under international law, that detainees must not be forcibly sent to a country where there are substantial grounds for believing that they could be subjected to torture. CEJIL also calls for the immediate closure of Guantanamo as the United States’ detention policies are in clear violation of international human rights law.
The Center for Justice and International Law represents all those detained at Guantanamo Bay, before the IACHR, jointly with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). CEJIL first requested precautionary measures (MC-259-02) on behalf of all Guantanamo detainees in 2002. These were granted by the IACHR. Since then, four resolutions have been issued by the IACHR denouncing the United States´ lack of compliance with these measures.
CEJIL and CCR also represent Djamel Ameziane, a detainee at risk of persecution if repatriated to his native Algeria, through Precautionary Measures (MC-211-08) as well as a Petition (P-900-08) filed before the IACHR in 2008. A public hearing for this case was held at the Inter-American Commission in October 2010.
In the words of Viviana Krsticevic: “We are deeply concerned by the situation facing Guantanamo detainees, particularly since the US government recently signed into law the indefinite detention of prisoners without trial. Today Guantanamo Bay detention center has reached its 10th anniversary and the United States has still not complied with its international obligations.”
Resolution 2/11 Regarding the Situation of the Detainees at Guantanamo Bay, United States, Precautionary Measures 259-02
Precautionary Measure 211/08 –Djamel Ameziane, United States
Precautionary Measure 259/02 – Detainees being held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay
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