US AG Holder visits Guantanamo as part of Justice Department review

[JURIST] US Attorney General Eric Holder [official website; JURIST news archive] visited the Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] military prison on Monday as part of a Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] review of the suspended military commission system established to try the detainees. During his visit, Holder reviewed cases against specific detainees, toured the facilities which had housed the military commission proceedings, and was joined by newly-appointed [DOJ release] Guantanamo Detainee Review Task Force (GDRTF) Executive Director Matthew Olsen. In a Friday release announcing Olsen's appointment and the creation of GDRTF, Holden said that Olsen will be responsible for reviewing each detainee's case and coordinating the government's actions accordingly:

As a leader of the Department’s National Security Division and 12-year career federal prosecutor, Mr. Olsen has the experience and judgment to lead the team’s evaluation of these individual cases... We’ve established a solid framework for the administration to make the right decision on each individual detainee -- decisions that will most effectively serve the interests of justice and the national security and foreign policy objectives of the United States.
The Obama administration announced earlier this month that it had begun the process of reviewing detainees' cases [JURIST report].

Both Holder's visit to Guantanamo and his creation of the GDRTF are part of the DOJ's efforts to carry out US President Barack Obama's January 22 executive order [text; JURIST report] freezing the military commission [DOD materials; JURIST news archive] system, calling for the review of US judicial policy towards the detainees, and ordering the closure of Guantanamo within one year. Under the order, US Navy Admiral Patrick Walsh [official profile] has also generated a report on conditions detainees face at Guantanamo, and concluded last week [JURIST report] that the prison does meet the requirements of the Geneva Conventions [ICRC materials].


 

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