Thursday, 23 May 2013

Obama would close Guantanamo and transfer Yemeni detainees to Yemen

Obama would close Guantanamo and transfer Yemeni detainees to Yemen

Source:  Press Release, 23/05/2013

Contact for interviews: Megan Lubin, Communications Manager, (202) 684-2552

BREAKING: Former Guantanamo Chief Prosecutor Responds to Obama’s Plan for Detention Center

Washington, DC--In a speech held this afternoon at the National Defense University in Washington, President Obama announced concrete steps to close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center, including appointing a senior envoy in the State Department tasked with closing the facility, and lifting the ban on detainee transfers to Yemen.

Col. Morris Davis, a former Chief Prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay who left his post in 2007 over the interrogation tactics used, provided the below response to the news.  His popular petition calling on President Obama to close the facility has drawn more than 200,000 supporters in a number of weeks:

“With the President’s announcement today, it seems years of rhetoric have finally turned into action. Since its beginning, Guantanamo has been costly, inefficient, morally wrong, and a stain on our human rights record.  Most people know this is an issue I’ve been personally invested in for years, and I am thrilled to see Obama take a real stand to close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center.”

“I’d like to thank the countless groups and individuals who helped get us to this announcement.  I’m especially thankful for the hundreds of thousands of people who signed the campaign in the last three weeks.  When I launched it, I said we’d need help to do this.  And boy, did people step up.

“Americans know that real patriots don't abandon their principles or surrender their liberties for temporary security.  We’re ready for closure.  No more excuses, no more stalling, just get it done as quickly as possible.”

Col. Davis flew to Washington to attend the President’s speech this afternoon.

Link to Col. Davis’ Petition on
Additional Background: As the Chief Prosecutor for Terrorism Trials at Guantanamo Bay. Col. Davis personally prosecuted Osama Bin Laden’s driver Salim Hamdan, David Hicks, and Omar Khadr. Davis stepped down from his post due to disagreement over the use of certain interrogation techniques. Since leaving his post at Guantanamo, Davis has become one of the prison’s most outspoken critics. In early May, he started a petition calling on Obama to fulfill past promises to close the detention facility and to transfer the 86 detainees cleared for release.


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