March 19, 2013, New York – In light of General John F. Kelly’s testimony tomorrow before the House Armed Services Committee, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) sent a letter to ranking committee members and issued the following statement:
Recent alarming events have shown that the mental and physical health of the 166 prisoners still remaining at Guantánamo are deteriorating rapidly as they take face their 12th year of indefinite detention without charge or trial. The ongoing hunger strike, which is now in its second month and threatening the lives of many men, is another reflection of the prisoners’ increasing desperation and hopelessness. Congress and the Obama administration can no longer ignore the rising crisis at Guantánamo. At tomorrow’s hearing, the House Armed Services Committee must question General Kelly closely on how he is working to end the hunger strike and working with the administration to facilitate Guantánamo’s swift closure pursuant to the President’s 2009 Executive Order, before another tragedy occurs at the base.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.