January 11, 2012 marks the tenth anniversary of the opening of the detention camp at Guantánamo Bay. There are still 171 men detained there, living in captivity, and mostly without any charges or a fair trial. Despite the fact that the U.S. government has itself cleared more than half of these men for release, and despite President Obama’s promise on his second day in office to close Guantánamo within a year, it has been almost twelve months since anyone has been released. This is the longest period of time that has elapsed since the prison’s opening without a single person being set free.
In addition the Obama administration has extended some of the worst aspects of the Guantánamo system by continuing indefinite detentions without charge or trial, employing illegitimate military commissions to try some suspects, and blocking accountability for torture. Two years have elapsed since he first promised to close down the notorious detention centre. This promise has effectively been written off by his refusal to veto the latest National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA will now go into law with detention provisions that violate human rights and will keep Guantanamo open.
We ask you to remember the 171 men held in indefinite captivity in Guantánamo, and to continue to demand that the United States - and every other government - uphold the human rights of all detainees.