Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Reprieve, and the Center for Constitutional Rights held a Press Conference ahead of next week’s meeting of EU Justice and Home Affairs Ministers on:
How can the EU and its Member States
help end a human rights scandal
Zachary Katznelson, Reprieve
Reed Brody, Human Rights Watch
Camilla Jelbart, Amnesty International
Irena Sabic, Guantanamo Global Justice Initiative, Center for Constitutional Rights
With a new US administration in place and a commitment to close down Guantanamo within a year, difficult questions remain as to what to do with the approximately 245 men who continue to be illegally detained there.
Around 60 Guantanamo detainees cannot be returned to their countries of origin because they are at risk of torture or other human rights violations if returned, or because they are stateless. None of these men has been charged and many have even been told by the US government that they should have been released long ago. They need to be resettled to a safe third country where they can begin to rebuild their lives.
The EU now has a unique opportunity, in line with its own repeated calls, to help close Guantanamo and put an end to the human rights scandal it represents. The EU’s Justice and Home Affairs ministers, in particular, can play a key role in providing humanitarian protection to detainees who cannot be returned home.
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