Amnesty International on Thursday called Guantanamo prison a “stain on human rights” on the eve of the prison’s seventeenth anniversary.
Guantanamo prison currently holds 40 detainees, many of whom were tortured by the CIA before being transferred to the facility. Many have also been issued transfers to other prisons and are still awaiting such transfers. Some of these have been waiting for transfer as far back as 2010. Since its inception, the American Civil Liberties Union reports that Guantanamo has housed around 800 prisoners, many without formal charges or due process.
President Barack Obama issued Executive Order 13492 which called for the transfer of prisoners and closure of the Guantanamo detention center in 2009. This was stalled during his presidency due to lack of sufficient funds provided by Congress and the practical complexities involved. President Donald Trump canceled the closure of Guantanamo with his own executive order rescinding his predecessor’s in January 2018.
Amnesty issued a firm statement calling for the prison’s closure:
It is far too easy to imagine that Guantánamo will continue to serve as the site of ongoing human rights violations under a president who holds the cruel and erroneous belief that torture is acceptable. Those who are cleared must be transferred immediately, and all other prisoners should either be charged and fairly tried or released to allow this shameful institution to close permanently.
Amnesty ended their statement by announcing plans to participate in a rally on the anniversary of the prison’s opening on Friday in Lafayette Square outside the White House to call for the prison’s closure.