Washington, D.C. – March 12, 2013 –Today the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) presented new information and analysis about the ongoing human rights violations against the men detained in the United States Naval Base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. CEJIL requested the hearing together with co-petitioners from the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), Physicians for Human Rights, Reprieve, and the City University of New York (CUNY) Immigration and Non-Citizen Rights Clinic.
“As Guantánamo nears its twelfth year of operations, we are calling on the United States to take specific steps to close the detention center without further delay, in compliance with the Inter-American Commission’s repeated calls to do so,” said Viviana Krsticevic, Executive Director of CEJIL.
At this hearing, CEJIL called on the United States to publicly address whether it still remains committed to closing the detention center in Guantánamo Bay, as it has been repeatedly called on to do by the Inter-American Commission, and – if so – what specific measures it is taking to close the detention center. Co-petitioners presented new information and expert analysis on urgent and ongoing human rights violations in Guantanamo: Kristine Huskey (PHR) referred to the grave psychological and medical impact of indefinite detention, detainee deaths, and the current urgent hunger strike; Ramzi Kassem (CUNY) presented on the citizenship-based moratorium of repatriation of Yemeni men; and Omar Farah (CCR) reported on current policies obstructing the closure of Guantánamo,the closure of the government office tasked with closing Guantánamo, and including the citizenship-based moratorium of repatriation of Yemeni men. CEJIL requested that the Inter-American Commission:
(1) Reiterate that the United States must close down the detention center at Guantánamo without further delay;
(2) Issue a report on the ongoing human rights violations in Guantánamo that acknowledges the physical and psychological impact of indefinite detention without charge or trial; and
(3) Renew its request to the State to allow the Commission to visit the detention center, with full access to the detained men.
The Inter-American Commission has actively monitored the human rights situation of the men detained in Guantánamo since 2002, when it first granted CEJIL’s request for precautionary measures on behalf of all the men detained there. The Commission admitted the first international case on a Guantánamo detainee for the Case of Djamel Ameziane, presented by CEJIL and CCR.