Sunday, January 20, 2013

MEDIA RELEASE: London Guantánamo Campaign calls on President Obama to close Guantánamo Bay prison in his second term as president

20 January 2013 - For immediate release

On 20 January 2013, Barack Obama will be inaugurated to his second term as president of the United States of America. The London Guantánamo Campaign [1] calls on President Obama to seize the opportunity presented by his second term as president to make good on broken promises to close Guantánamo Bay and put an end to the practice of extraordinary rendition.

In January 2009, one of Barack Obama’s first actions as president was to sign a decree [2] pledging to close Guantánamo Bay by January 2010 and place a moratorium on military commissions. One hundred and sixty six prisoners currently remain at Guantánamo Bay with only 72 released [3] in his first term and several military commissions are underway.

Aisha Maniar from the London Guantánamo Campaign said:

“Unlike the prisoners at Guantánamo Bay who have never been offered a chance, Barack Obama is being given a second chance, by the American people. He must use this opportunity to put right his failings in his first term as president and demonstrate his commitment to the rule of law and the principles of freedom and justice he verbally espouses.

“Barack Obama “inherited” arbitrary detention and prisoner abuse at Guantánamo Bay as part of the bitter legacy of the Bush era. Yet, rather than remedy the damage done by his predecessor, he has embraced it and the past four years have been entirely of his making. Should Barack Obama fail in his second term “to let freedom ring” [4] for the prisoners of the arbitrary regime he has perpetuated, he will go down in history as the president who deliberately blew the opportunity to close Guantánamo and re-establish legality and justice time and again.”


1. The London Guantánamo Campaign campaigns for justice for all prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, for the closure of this and other secret prisons, and an end to the practice of extraordinary rendition.
4. Barack Obama’s public inauguration will fall on 21 January 2013, which is Martin Luther King Day, a public holiday in the United States.

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