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    Advocates working to release Guantanamo prisoners say that US President Barack Obama really moving in the right direction, transferring detainees from the US detention site in Cuba

    Obama Faces Many Challenges Before Guantanamo Closure: Advocates

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    Advocates working to release Guantanamo prisoners say that US President Barack Obama really moving in the right direction, transferring detainees from the US detention site in Cuba, but the US Congress refuses every year to allow him the money to move prisoners to the US mainland.

    WASHINGTON, January 12 (Sputnik) – Advocates working to release Guantanamo prisoners are hopeful that the recent wave of detainee transfers from the US detention site in Cuba is a sign that it will be closed soon, but think that US President Barack Obama still faces many challenges before the site is permanently closed.

    "He's [Obama] really moving in the right direction, he needs to carry on urgently releasing these men approved for release," British author Andy Worthington, co-founder of the Close Guantanamo Campaign and co-director of the We Stand with Shaker Campaign, which calls to release the last United Kingdom detainee Shaker Aamer from Guantanamo told Sputnik.

    In 2009, President Obama signed an executive order to close Guantanamo Bay and described the detention facility as a "sad chapter in American history." However, the Cuban prison site remains open today.

    "His [Obama's] big obstacle is that Congress refuses every year to allow him the money to move prisoners to the US mainland, they won't allow him to do that and he has to do that if he's going to close the facilities," Worthington said.

    Advocacy Program Manager Aliya Hana Hussain, of the Guantanamo Global Justice Initiative at the Center for Constitutional Rights, a human rights organization that represents nine Guantanamo detainees says although she is hopeful that President Obama is on the right track for closing the prison site, but that simply transferring the prisoners to different sites, does not solve the problem of closing the detention site entirely.

    "Based on the recent momentum of transfers, it's promising, it looks like President Obama is recommitted to closing the prison we can only hope that he is but there is a long road ahead, Hussain told Sputnik.

    he number of released Guantanamo prisoners reengaging in terrorist or insurgent activities has dropped almost three times since 2009
    © East News / Tech. Sgt. Michael R. Holzworth
    Hussain also said that the Guantanamo detainees also need to be given fair trials.

    "In addition to transferring cleared men there is an indefinite detention category that is supposed to go through the periodic review board process, which currently is moving at a glacial pace, so that needs to pick up and all men that the government intends to try should be given fair trials," Hussain said.

    Since November, the United States has released 28 Guantanamo detainees to countries including Afghanistan, Uruguay, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia and Kazakhstan, leaving 127 prisoners left at the detention facility. Some have even remained at the prison for years despite having been cleared for release.

    On Sunday, dozens of demonstrators staged a march from the White House to the US Department of Justice to remind President Obama of the 2009 promise to close Guantanamo Bay prison. Sunday marked the 13th anniversary of the prisoners, remaining at the facility.


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