WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today marks the 21st anniversary of the Guantánamo Detention facility. The Center for Victims of Torture™ (CVT) joined a diverse group of over 150 non-governmental organizations – working in both the United States and other countries on issues including international human rights, immigrants’ rights, racial justice and combatting anti-Muslim discrimination – to call on President Joe Biden to close Guantánamo.
“Among a broad range of human rights violations perpetrated against predominantly Muslim communities over the last two decades, the Guantánamo detention facility – built on the same military base where the United States unconstitutionally detained Haitian refugees in deplorable conditions in the early 1990s – is the iconic example of the abandonment of the rule of law,” the groups wrote.
“This is not a problem of the past,” they explained. “Guantánamo continues to cause escalating and profound damage to the aging and increasingly ill men still detained indefinitely there, most without charge and none having received a fair trial.”
The groups urged Biden to close Guantánamo, end indefinite military detention of those held there, and “never again us[e] the military base for unlawful mass detention of any group of people.”
Read the full letter here.
Of the nearly 800 Muslim men and boys who have at some point since 2002 been held at Guantánamo, 35 remain today. The government’s most senior national security officials have already recommended that 20 of those men be transferred out, but they continue to languish.
To learn more about Guantánamo – including the men who remain, the military commissions system and how Guantánamo can be closed – visit https://www.cvt.org/GuantanamoOverview
The Center for Victims of Torture is a nonprofit organization with offices in Ethiopia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Uganda, United States and additional project sites around the world.