June 4, 2009, New York – The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) issued the following statement in response to the agreement reached by EU Ministries of the Interior and Schengen associated countries establishing a framework for accepting men transferred from Guantánamo:
“This framework was the lynchpin for beginning transfers to Europe. A sufficient framework is now in place for European countries to finalize their negotiations with the United States to accept specific individuals ready for release from Guantánamo, especially those countries who have already agreed to do so. The United States is under a tight deadline and there is no reason to delay consideration of specific cases by European countries.
“Importantly, the United States must match Europe’s extraordinary leadership by promptly accepting into the United States innocent individuals who need refugee protection. We must reject the Bush administration’s old portrayal of these men as ‘the worst of the worst’ and recognize that these unlawfully imprisoned individuals should be released without delay. The U.S. cannot undermine the European countries’ offer by failing to bear our share of the burden of our mistakes at Guantánamo.”
CCR has led the legal battle over Guantánamo for over six years and has been responsible for organizing and coordinating more than 500 pro bono lawyers across the country in order to represent the men detained there. CCR also works with men who were formerly detained and their families to seek justice and accountability for the abuses suffered during their imprisonment.
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.