September 21, 2012, New York – In response to the Department of Justice’s release today of the identities of 55 of the 86 Guantanamo prisoners who have been approved for transfer, Center for Constitutional Rights Executive Director Vincent Warren issued the following statement:
Most of the 55 men listed have endured 11 years of indefinite detention without charge or trial, despite the unanimous assessment of every responsible U.S. national security agency that these men could be safely released or transferred. The government’s justification for hiding the identities of these men was always unconvincing, and their names should have been made public three years ago when the Guantanamo Review Task Force made its determinations. Though today’s announcement is long overdue, we welcome the disclosure of this important information which finally dispels the myth that the remaining detainees who are trapped at Guantanamo are too dangerous to be released.
The list announced today, however, is incomplete, and not appearing on the list is no indication of wrongdoing. It is long past time for the government to release the men it does not intend to prosecute. It should begin by urgently resuming transfers of the 86 men it has already cleared. The government did the right thing today by releasing the partial list of names. It should take the next step of releasing the men themselves.
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.