August 5, 2015, New York – Today, in response to the publication of “Towards the Closure of Guantanamo,” a report issued by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:
The IACHR’s findings are both welcome and unequivocal: Guantánamo, a prison reserved only for Muslim men and boys, violates international human rights law and must be closed without further delay. The findings echo those of myriad other international bodies, and we implore the Obama administration to finally take heed and act upon the longstanding international recognition and consensus that Guantánamo violates international human rights law and must be closed. The IACHR report rightly highlights the plight of the dozens of Yemeni detainees – the vast majority of them, like our clients Tariq Ba Odah, Fahd Ghazy, and Ghaleb Al Bihani, cleared for release yet trapped there because of their citizenship – and we urge the U.S. to resume resettlement efforts immediately. The clock is ticking for President Obama, and time is running out for him to avoid a legacy as the man who would not or could not undo the human rights nightmare George Bush left him.
The report discusses the cases of CCR clients Djamel Ameziane and Tariq Ba Odah. The IACHR emphasizes that every detainee held at Guantánamo has been Muslim and notes that this presents an “apparent targeting of individuals in relation to nationality, ethnicity and religion.” The Commission reiterates that “the continuing and indefinite detention of individuals in Guantánamo without the right to due process is arbitrary and constitutes a clear violation of international law.”
The Center for Constitutional Rights has led the legal battle over Guantánamo for more than 13 years – representing clients in two Supreme Court cases and organizing and coordinating hundreds of pro bono lawyers across the country, ensuring that all the men detained at Guantánamo have had the option of legal representation. CCR is responsible for many Guantanamo cases in many venues, representing men in their habeas cases in federal court and before the military commissions and Periodic Review Boards, the families of men who died at Guantánamo, and men who have been released and are seeking accountability 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.