Gitmo Lawyers: Let Transfers Continue Until All Men Who Will Not Be Charged Are Freed
December 31, 2014, New York – In response to the news that five men – three Yemenis and two Tunisians – were transferred from Guantánamo to Kazakhstan yesterday, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) issued the following statement:
We are encouraged by additional transfers and resettlements and hope they will continue until all Guantánamo prisoners the administration does not intend to charge are freed. We especially urge President Obama to bring renewed attention to cleared Yemeni men – including our clients, Tariq Ba Odah, Mohammed Al Hamiri, Fahd Ghazy, and Ghaleb Al-Bihani – and put an end to their indefinite detention, which is effectively based on their Yemeni citizenship.
We hope the January 1 departure of State Department Guantánamo envoy Cliff Sloan will not interrupt the momentum of transfers. It is imperative that President Obama appoint Sloan’s successor without delay and continue emptying the prison.
Whatever pretense of authority to detain the men at Guantánamo existed during combat operations in Afghanistan, it is quickly evaporating as those operations came to a close. That timeline should similarly guide the closing of the prison and bring a swift end to 13 years of indefinite detention without charge or trial.
In moving interviews with his family in Yemen, a new documentary, “Waiting for Fahd,” shows the human cost of Guantánamo through the heartrending story of CCR client Fahd Ghazy. Ghazy, a Yemeni national, has been unlawfully detained at Guantánamo since he was 17. He is now 30 and languishes at Guantánamo despite having been twice cleared for release.
The Center for Constitutional Rights has led the legal battle over Guantánamo for nearly 13 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.