Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

22 January 2009

USA: Executive order to close Guantánamo a major step forward

USA: Executive order to close Guantánamo a major step forward

Amnesty International's Secretary General Irene Khan has called President Barack Obama’s executive order to close the Guantánamo detention facility "a major step forward" and a "welcome sign that the new administration is willing to right the wrongs of the past."

"This is clearly an important step in the right direction. Speed and specifics are now of the essence – the trial or release of these 240-plus detainee cases is already years overdue," said Irene Khan on Thursday.

"By prioritizing the closure of Guantánamo in his first 48 hours in office, President Obama is sending an important message to the rest of the world that the USA is now closing a dark chapter in its history"

The executive order signed today states that the detention facility "shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than one year from the date of this order."

Amnesty International said that the reference to "as soon as practicable" should be interpreted and applied with urgency, noting that detainees who have not been charged should already have been released years ago.

"The USA dedicated substantial resources to this ill-judged exercise right from the start and throughout its seven-year operation. It should now dedicate the necessary resources and effort to bring it to a speedy and lawful closure," stated Irene Khan.

"The campaign run by Amnesty International and other human rights organizations over the past few years has borne fruit. We look to the Obama Administration to continue to give urgent action to right the many wrongs that were committed over the past seven years in the name of fighting terrorism."

Issue

Detention 
Trials And Legal Systems 

Country

USA 

Region

Americas 

Campaigns

Security with Human Rights 

@amnestyonline on twitter

News

18 September 2014

Nigeria’s police and military routinely torture women, men, and children – some as young as 12 – using a wide range of methods including beatings, shootings and rape... Read more »

19 September 2014

The Guatemalan government is fuelling the fires of conflict by failing to consult local communities before awarding mining licences to companies.

Read more »
19 September 2014

A Thai court’s decision to uphold a 10-year prison sentence given to an editor and social activist for allegedly insulting the royal family continues the relentless erosion of... Read more »

19 September 2014

Ireland’s latest guidelines on abortion are mere window-dressing that will confuse health professionals and endanger women’s lives and rights.

Read more »
19 September 2014

The Egyptian authorities are putting at risk the life of a jailed activist, whose health has sharply deteriorated after more than 230 days on hunger strike, by denying him... Read more »