Human Rights – The United Nations human rights chief spoke out this week against the glaring failure on behalf of the United States to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility as promised by a newly elected President Obama in January 2009.
“It is 10 years since the US Government opened the prison at Guantanamo, and now three years later since 22 January 2009 [sic], when the President ordered its closure within 12 months,” Navi Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights stated in a news release – “Yet the facilities continue to exist and individuals remain arbitrarily detained – indefinitely – in clear breach of international law,” she added.
Pillay went on to reiterate the disappointment shared by many Americans in regards to the Obama administration’s decision to solidify the system of arbitrary and indefinite detention with the new National Defense Authorization Act.
Signed into law as 2011 drew to a close, the Act has effectively legalized the sketchy practice of arresting, well, pretty much anyone now and jailing him or her indefinitely. And this was done by the administration that promised to CLOSE Guantanamo.
“This piece of legislation contravenes some of the most fundamental tenets of justice and human rights, namely, the right to a fair trial and the right not to be arbitrarily detained. Nobody should ever be held for years on end without being tried and convicted, or released,” Pillay said.
Pillay conceded that the U.S. has the “right and duty” to protect its citizens, but called upon the government to do so in a manner that is accordance with international human rights law.
Read More at the UN.