08:26 GMT25 January 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - President Donald Trump’s decision to keep the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba detention center open is an awful move because it contradicts American values, attorney Carlos Warner, who represents 11 Guantanamo inmates, told Sputnik.

    "I believe that maintaining an extrajudicial prison which is internationally renowned for its interrogations and for its lack of due process is a terrible policy decision," Warner, who is an attorney with the Federal Public Defender of the Northern District of Ohio, said on Thursday. "Guantanamo is the antithesis of all of these values and our government should repudiate such places at every opportunity including the present one"

    The United States should be a beacon for freedom, human rights and due process, Warner maintained.

    Nevertheless, the prison at Guantanamo was still popular among US citizens, especially Trump’s base. "A vast majority of the president’s supporters support the prison and likely support expansion of its population," he said.

    Trump was playing to his supporters with his comments at the State of the Union address, however, he will have to deal with other elements that oppose the policy.

    "I believe there are strong forces within our government and the administration that believes Guantanamo is damaging the United States," he said.

    Trump’s record and reputation for unpredictability and making sudden, unexpected policy changes could also lead him to change course on his Guantanamo decision in the future, Warner cautioned.

    The legality of detentions in Guantanamo prison has been questioned by several human rights watchdogs, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Detainees have had a limited access to the options available to the suspects under the US law, including legal representation. There have also been reports of torture used in interrogations.

    Trump in his State of the Union address on Tuesday said that he signed an order to keep the Guantanamo prison open indefinitely. Former President Barack Obama tried but failed to close the detention center which became notorious because of arbitrary detentions and torture allegations.

    Related:

    Former Guantanamo Chief Officer Urges Closure of Facility for US Security's Sake
    US Constitutional Rights Center Slams Trump's Decision to Keep Guantanamo Open
    Jim Mattis Makes First Trip to Guantanamo by US Defense Chief Since 2002
    ‘Abysmal’ Treatment: UN Notes US Still Torturing Uncharged Guantanamo Prisoners
    Canadian Judge Dismisses Bid to Freeze Assets of Ex-Guantanamo Prisoner
    Tags:
    Gitmo, human rights, arbitrary detention, values, jail, torture, detention, prison, Donald Trump, Carlos Warner, Guantanamo Bay, US
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