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    OSCE PA Calls on US to Shut Down Guantanamo - Human Rights Committee

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    OSCE PA Chair of the General Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions on Tuesday urged the US to follow its promises on the Guantanamo prison's closure.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (PA) Chair of the General Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions Ignacio Sanchez Amor on Tuesday urged the United States to keep its promises on shutting down the Guantanamo prison.

    “Since the first resolution on Guantanamo that the PA adopted at our 2003 Annual Session, our position has been clear: the prison is a stain on the United States’ reputation in the sphere of human rights, and the U.S. government should live up to its commitments to the rule of law by either releasing the prisoners or granting them their right to fair trial,” Amor said, as quoted in an OSCE PA press statement.

    The remark comes a day before the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba by the US military.

    The Spanish lawmaker expressed regret that outgoing US President Barack Obama had been unable to shut down the facility despite promising to do so during his presidential election campaign in 2007 and 2008. Amor urged the United States to continue transferring the remaining detainees out of the prison for either release or trial.

    “As President Obama has said, instead of serving as a counter-terrorism tool, Guantanamo became a symbol that helped violent extremists gain new recruits, likely creating more terrorists around the world than it ever detained,” the parliamentarian stressed, recalling that the OSCE PA had called for Guantanamo’s closure on five different resolutions.

    Under former President George Bush, the US government in 2002 opened a detention center for terror suspects at the military base at Guantanamo Bay in the wake of 9/11 attacks. The facility has faced a barrage of criticism from human rights groups, watchdogs and activists over human rights violations, abuse and torture as detainees were held indefinitely without charge.

    Most of the hundreds of detainees were released under Obama, yet 55 remain after the Pentagon released another four several days ago. Of those still left behind bars, 19 have been cleared for release by governmental reviews. US President-elect Donald Trump has, however, stated that the remaining prisoners should not be released.

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    closure, prison, Guantanamo Bay, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, OSCE, Ignacio Sanchez Amor, United States
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