Obama Approves Life Imprisonment without Trial for Guantánamo Prisoners
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
(graphic: Bob Boldt, Chico Peace and Justice Center)
On March 7, President Barack Obama signed an executive order permitting the indefinite detention without trial of prisoners being held at the U.S. military installation at Guantánamo Bay.
The order will be applied to 47 prisoners at Guantánamo, out of the 172 being held there. Another 36 are due to be tried before a military commission, while the remaining 89 have been cleared for eventual release. Those who may spend the rest of their lives in custody without trial are considered too dangerous to let go. However, the legal cases against them are fraught with “evidentiary problems,” which in many instances means the evidence the U.S. has was obtained through the use of torture and could be thrown out in court.
Under Obama’s policy, detainees will be able to submit documentary evidence every six months about their innocence, but their cases will only be reviewed every three years.
Andrea Prasow, senior counterterrorism counsel at Human Rights Watch, noted that, “Signing an executive order does not suddenly make it legal to lock people up and hold them forever without proving they have committed a crime.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
Obama Creates Indefinite Detention System for Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay (by Peter Finn and Anne E. Kornblut, Washington Post)
US: Indefinite Detention Authorized but Restricted (Human Rights Watch)
Obama Prepares Permanent Imprisonment without Trial for 48 at Guantánamo (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
Obama Inching Towards Bush View Ending Habeas Corpus (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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