[Pnews] Guantánamo remains open for torture, seven years after Obama signed order to close prison

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Jan 21 10:22:52 EST 2016

*Guantánamo remains open for torture, seven years after Obama signed 
order to close prison
  Reprieve  +44 (0) 207 553 8140: Thurs Jan 21st, 2016

Tomorrow marks seven years since President Obama signed an Executive 
Order to close Guantánamo Bay. Nearly 100 men are still being held there 
without charge or trial, while US government lawyers are fighting the 
release of video footage showing hunger striking detainees being force-fed.

On January 22nd 2009 when signing the order, President Obama said that 
he was issuing the order to “restore the standards of due process and 
the core constitutional values that have made this country great even in 
the midst of war, even in dealing with terrorism." 14 years since the 
first detainees were sent to the prison, and seven years after President 
Obama signed the Executive Order to close it, 100 men are still 
detained. President Obama’s staff are expected to deliver a plan to 
shutter the prison in the coming weeks, which could involve moving men 
to prisons on US soil.

Tomorrow is also the deadline for the U.S. Government to appeal a 
federal judge’s order that it must release videotapes showing the 
force-feeding of hunger-striking detainees at Guantánamo. If the 
government decides not to appeal, the footage will be made available to 
the public. The Guantánamo authorities have long faced criticism for the 
force-feeding of detainees engaged in peaceful hunger-strikes in protest 
against their detention without trial. After it emerged that the prison 
had been video-taping such procedures, one detainee, who has since been 
released, had those videos disclosed to his lawyers. Sixteen major media 
outlets, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, AP and 
Reuters, are seeking release of the tapes.

So far, only the court and security-cleared lawyers at international 
human rights organization Reprieve have been allowed to review the 
tapes.  However, the US Government has been ordered by a federal judge 
to release a censored version of them, and will have to either do so or 
appeal by the 22 January deadline.

*Cori Crider, Reprieve attorney for Guantanamo detainees,* said: “I 
remember 22 January 2009 very clearly - we were so hopeful that finally 
the nightmare would be over and my clients – and all those other men 
held without charge or trial at Guantanamo – would be able to go home. 
It is hard to believe that, seven years later, progress is slow and 
Gitmo remains very much open for business. President Obama has called 
his administration ‘the most transparent in history’ and yet his 
government is fighting tooth and nail to stop the tapes showing abuse of 
my client being released to the public. People need to know what has 
been and continues to go on in their name at Gitmo – President Obama 
must stop hiding the truth and release the tapes.”


Notes to editors

1. Reprieve is an international human rights organization. Reprieve’s 
London office can be contacted on: communications [at] reprieve.org.uk / 
+44 (0) 207 553 8140. Reprieve US <http://www.reprieve.org/>, based in 
New York City, can be contacted on Katherine [dot] oshea [at] 
reprieve.org / +1 917 855 8064.
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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