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USA: Guantánamo still a human rights 'stain' - new statement on 21st anniversary

Activists in the USA in January 2021 © Alli Jarrar/Amnesty International

Fresh call on Joe Biden to close notorious detention centre where 35 people still held 

‘Guantánamo remains an indelible stain on the United States’ history’ - Erika Guevara-Rosas

Ahead of the 21st anniversary tomorrow of the opening of the Guantánamo Bay detention centre, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Amnesty International’s Americas director, said:

“It’s tragic that 21 years after the opening of an offshore detention facility specifically designed to evade the rule of law, the US government continues to detain 35 men at the Guantánamo Bay detention camp. 

“Most have never even been charged with a crime. None has had a fair trial. Many of the detainees were tortured.

“The military commissions created to try some of the detainees have proven ineffectual and unfair, denying defendants an impartial arbiter and access to critical evidence. This has also denied victims of the 9/11 attacks their right to justice. 

“President Biden must finally right this wrong. His administration must transfer all remaining detainees who have not been charged with crimes to countries where they will be safe and their human rights will be respected. 

“In those cases where there is sufficient admissible evidence under international law to prosecute internationally-recognisable criminal offences, this must be done through fair judicial resolution, without recourse to the death penalty.

“Guantánamo remains an indelible stain on the United States’ history. 

“More than two decades after its opening, President Biden must finally close this chapter and ensure it is never repeated.” 

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