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Former US secretaries of state recommend closing Guantanamo Bay prison

[JURIST] Five former US secretaries of state Thursday called for the closure of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] at a conference [UGA press release] held at the University of Georgia School of Law to discuss foreign policy issues. Colin Powell, Madeline Albright, Henry Kissinger, Warren Christopher, and James Baker III [official profiles] also agreed that the next president "should be open to taking diplomatic steps with both allies and unfriendly countries in order to further the nation's standing in the world and ease global issues in which the US is deeply involved." AP has more.

Others have also called for the closure of the Guantanamo detention center [JURIST news archive]. The leaders of 34 international bar associations and law societies last month sent a letter [PDF text] to US President George W. Bush and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, urging the "immediate closure" of the facility [JURIST report]. Last October, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism Martin Scheinin called on the US to quickly prosecute or release terror suspects [JURIST report] detained at Guantanamo Bay so that the US can close the detention center. Bush himself said in August 2007 that he wants to shut down [JURIST report] the detention facility, but indicated that other countries have shown reluctance to accept detainees.

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