May 2, 2018, New York – In response to news that the first detainee has been transferred out of Guantánamo under Trump, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:
We are relieved that Mr. Al Darbi, who pled guilty before a military commission and agreed to cooperate with the government in exchange for an agreement to release him, has at long last been transferred out of Guantánamo. But let us be clear: his transfer came at great cost – over 12 years in Guantánamo – and he is not yet free. And, much as we would like to hope it signals further positive movement from this administration, there is no such indication. Forty Muslim men remain imprisoned in an entrenched prison system that was set up to evade just laws and experiment on human beings, and that system continues. Men the government cleared for transfer years ago are still languishing. As Darbi was being transferred out, the administration received guidance on the criteria for transferring new detainees in.
The administration’s intention to maintain the status quo, at best, or expand the prison population, at worst, could not be clearer. Nor could Congress’s abdication of its role in checking the executive branch. That is why the Center for Constitutional Rights and co-counsel have a pending challenge on behalf of eleven prisoners who are detained without charge, arguing that these perpetual detentions violate the Constitution and are undergirded by the president’s executive hubris and anti-Muslim animus. It is up to the courts – and the public – to challenge the Trump administration’s ugly Guantánamo policy.
The Center for Constitutional Rights has led the legal battle over Guantánamo for more than 16 years – representing clients in two Supreme Court cases and organizing and coordinating hundreds of pro bono lawyers across the country, ensuring that nearly all the men detained at Guantánamo have had the option of legal representation. Among other Guantánamo cases, the Center represents the families of men who died at Guantánamo, and men who have been released and are seeking justice in international courts.
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.