Amnesty International Urges Biden to Keep Promise to Close Guantanamo Bay
By Staff, Agencies
Human rights group Amnesty International urged US President Joe Biden to keep his promise to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center as the 20th anniversary of its opening approaches next year.
The facility at a US military base in Cuba is notorious because of harsh interrogation methods used there that critics say amounted to torture.
"The longer the prison remains in use, the longer it continues to undermine US credibility globally on human rights," Daphne Eviatar, director of the security with human rights program at Amnesty International USA, said in a statement.
Roughly 780 people have been detained in Guantanamo since its establishment on January 12, 2002, many of whom haven't been charged with a crime.
The camp currently has 39 detainees left.
Guantanamo sets a "dangerous precedent" both with regard to the lack of due process of law "and in terms of impunity for the most serious human rights violations, such as torture and enforced disappearances," Matthias Schreiber of Amnesty International in Germany told the AFP news agency.
He said detainees have no access to "fair trials under the rule of law."
Schreiber urged the international community to pressure the US to close the facility.
Former US President Barack Obama already ordered it to be closed in 2009 but failed to get it done during his presidency.
Biden's predecessor, Donald Trump, wanted to retain the facility, which is also known as Gitmo.
But Biden promised during his election campaign that he would close it before his tenure is up.