May 1, 2013, New York – Today, special rapporteurs from the United Nations and the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued a joint statement calling on the United States to end the indefinite detention without charge of men at Guantanamo, cease force-feeding the hunger-strikers, and end the blanket ban on transfers to Yemen based solely on nationality. The IACHR, UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, UN Rapporteur on Torture, UN Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism, and UN Rapporteur on Health put out the statement “in light of current human rights crisis.”
In the strongest terms, the international human rights body with jurisdiction over the United States, and the United Nation’s top independent human rights experts condemned the U.S. for being in “flagrant violation of international law” in its operation of the prison at Guantanamo and rightly called the hunger strike, now in its third month, a human rights crisis. We join their call to begin the immediate transfer of the 86 cleared men, end the blanket ban on transfers to Yemen based solely on nationality, cease force-feeding hunger strikers who have made an informed and conscious choice to refuse food, and end the illegal practice of indefinite detention without charge or trial. We further support the call on the U.S. to allow the IACHR and UN experts to visit Guantanamo to monitor conditions with free access to the base and the men detained there. The time for the president to act is now. He must use the national security waiver provided by Congress to begin transfers immediately.