U.S.| UN calls on U.S. to “stop secret detention and abuse” ahead of report to Human Rights Council

posted on 01.28.2010 by

The United Nations has called on the U.S. and others to put an end to secret detention policies and human rights abuses in their “war on terrorism”, IDN reports. Read more

U.S.| Obama administration urged to renew pledge to close Guantanamo, ensure accountability

posted on 01.21.2010 by

Ahead of the one-year anniversary of Obama pledging to close Guantanamo Bay, human rights watchdogs have urged the administration to redouble its efforts to close the prison and ensure accountability for “war on terror” abuses. Read more

Event| “One Year and Counting: When and How Will Guantanamo Close?”

posted on 01.21.2010 by

Location: New York City
Event Date: January 22, 2010
Event Time: 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Contact: The Constitution Project – [email protected]

The Open Society Institute, the Consitution Project, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund sponsor a lunchtime panel discussion to mark President Obama’s deadline for closing the Guantánamo Bay detention facility, which he set by Executive Order one year earlier, on his second day in office.

The discussion will examine the obstacles preventing the president from fulfilling his promise, when and how Guantánamo is likely to close, and the impact of the attempted Christmas Day airline bombing on the politics of closing the detention facility. The discussion will illuminate why it is essential that America comply with the rule of law as it continues its efforts to close Guantánamo.

A light lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. The discussion will begin promptly at noon.

Confirmed participants include the following, with a representative of the U.S. government to be announced shortly:

* Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker (moderator)
* Stephen Abraham, Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.), U.S. Army Intelligence Corps (Reserves)
* Honorable John Coughenour, Federal District Court, Seattle, WA, who presided over the 2005 trial of Ahmed Ressam, known as the Millennium Bomber
* Talat Hamdani, September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
* Shane Kadidal, Senior Managing Attorney, Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative, Center for Constitutional Rights
* Celeste Koeleveld, Chief of the Criminal Division, Chief Appellate Attorney, and Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York (1991-2008)

Rockefeller Brothers Fund
475 Riverside Drive
New York, NY 10115

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund is located in the Interchurch Center. Please enter at 61 Claremont Avenue and 120th Street. The event will take place in the Interchurch Center’s first-floor conference room, the Sockman Lounge.

More here from Open Society Institute.

Editorial| “Guantanamo Must Be Closed”

posted on 12.18.2009 by

Editorial from the New York Times: The White House defied all the chest pounding and announced this week that the federal government would acquire a maximum-security prison in Illinois and use part of it to house inmates from the Guantánamo Bay detention camp. Moving the prisoners is an indispensable step toward closing an extra-legal offshore lockup that has stained this nation’s reputation and become a recruitment tool for terrorists.

There are about 210 inmates in Guantánamo. The administration has said it plans to prosecute 40 in civilian or military courts, including 5 who will be tried in federal court in New York. Some of the others should be tried. Some, perhaps, once posed a threat but no longer do so and should go to other countries under supervision. Some should go free.

Sorting them out is a difficult process, and we are not happy with the way the administration has been deciding which prisoners should be tried in federal criminal courts and which should be tried in military courts. President Obama has yet to forswear the idea of indefinite detention without charges, as he vowed to do while running for president. And there are signs that he, like George W. Bush, will decree that the entire planet is a battlefield and anyone arrested anywhere on terrorism charges may be tried in military tribunals. [...]

More here.

U.S.| Illinois prison likely choice to house Guantanamo Bay detainees

posted on 12.15.2009 by

The Obama administration is expected to announce today that it has selected a prison in northwestern Illinois to house terrorism suspects from Guantánamo Bay. This comprises a major step in closing that military detention facility. Read more