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Obama Must Accelerate Pace of Gitmo Transfers - Human Rights First

© East News / Tech. Sgt. Michael R. HolzworthGuard tower at dawn at Camp Delta the military prison at Naval Base Guantanamo Bay Cuba
Guard tower at dawn at Camp Delta the military prison at Naval Base Guantanamo Bay Cuba - Sputnik International
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Human Rights First Senior Counsel Daphne Eviatar said that Obama will fail to meet his goal of closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility if prisoner transfers continue at their current torpid rate.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US President Barack Obama will fail to meet his goal of closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility if prisoner transfers continue at their current torpid rate, Human Rights First Senior Counsel Daphne Eviatar said in a press release.

“The reviews continue to move forward at a glacial pace,” Eviatar said on Thursday. “If the President is to close Guantanamo by the end of his term, the administration must double down on completing review board hearings for all remaining detainees.”

Eviatar explained that a US National Security Agency review board is tasked with determining whether detainees pose a threat to American interests before clearing them for transfer to a third country.

Guard tower at dawn at Camp Delta the military prison at Naval Base Guantanamo Bay Cuba - Sputnik International
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Of the remaining Guantanamo detainees, according to Eviatar, 56 have been cleared by US security agencies and should be transferred “without delay.”

Earlier this week, US Acting Special Envoy for Guantanamo Closure, Charles Trumbull, told the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that he hoped the prisoner reviews would be complete within a year, Eviatar added.

“This is a positive development in closing the facility, but there is much left to be done,” Eviatar argued.

The Guantanamo Bay detention facility was created in 2002 following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. The military prison has routinely been criticized by human rights advocates for alleged inhumane conditions of imprisonment, including the use of torture.

In 2009, Obama issued an Executive Order to review the status of all Guantanamo Bay detainees and to shut down the detention facilities there. Since Obama’s review, the number of detainees has been nearly cut in half, but the complete shutdown has not taken place yet. Currently, there are 122 detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

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