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UK Attorney General invokes American traditions in call to close Guantanamo Bay

[JURIST] British Attorney General Lord Goldsmith [official profile], already a critic [JURIST report] of the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], Wednesday made a forceful public call for the shutdown of the facility. Making a speech [text] in London's Whitehall, Goldsmith reminded his audience the British government had succeeded in negotiating the return of all its nationals held at Guantanamo after it concluded that the US military commission process did not guarantee them a fair trial by international standards.

He went on to say:

...the existence of Guantanamo Bay remains unacceptable. It is time, in my view, that it should close. Not only would it, in my personal opinion, be right to close Guantanamo as a matter of principle, I believe it would also help to remove what has become a symbol to many – right or wrong- of injustice. The historic tradition of the United States as a beacon of freedom, liberty and of justice deserves the removal of this symbol.
Shami Chakrabarti of UK human rights group Liberty [advocacy website], a group long-opposed to the detentions [fairs trial advocacy] at Guantanamo, commended the speech, saying it was "never too late to do and say the right thing." The London Times has more.

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