January 15, 2015, New York – In response to the news that four Yemenis were transferred from Guantanamo to Oman and one man to Estonia today, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) issued the following statement:
It is encouraging to see the president increasing the rate of transfers and finally start dealing with the dire situation of Yemenis who were cleared for release long ago but remain detained solely because of their citizenship. Men from Yemen still make up the majority of prisoners at Guantanamo who have been unanimously cleared for release by every military and intelligence agency in the U.S. government. We hope today's transfer signals that other cleared Yemenis, like our clients, Tariq Ba Odah, Mohammed Al Hamiri, Fahd Ghazy, and Ghaleb Al-Bihani, will soon be free. Oman is a safe, stable and culturally appropriate country for the men to make new lives in, and we hope to see many more transfers there in the near future.With Guantanamo entering its 14th year of operation and the president approaching the end of his second term, it is imperative that the pace of the Periodic Review Boards be stepped up and the transfers of cleared men continue without delay. Maintaining momentum in these transfers is of the essence. To close Guantanamo the right way, all of the remaining prisoners must either be charged or released. There cannot be an “irreducible” number of men who remain indefinitely imprisoned without charge, whether in Guantanamo or in prisons in the United States.
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.