US Issues List of 55 Guantanamo Detainees Cleared for Transfer
Politico’s Josh Gerstein reports that the Obama administration’s Department of Justice has made public for the first time a list of 55 Guantanamo detainees cleared for transfer out of the prison. These detainees must be immediately released to countries that will respect their human rights. If the Obama administration can’t find suitable and willing countries to take them right away, then these detainees should–if they are willing–be released in the United States. Shaker Aamer has been held at Guantanamo over 10 years despite being cleared for release.
If necessary, President Obama should work with Congress to remove any legislative barriers to transfering them to the U.S. mainland. A number of U.S. cities have already passed local resolutions welcoming detainees, including Amherst and Berkeley. One of the detainees from the list of 55 that can be resolved right now is Shaker Aamer (pictured). He has British residency and the UK government has repeatedly called for him to be released to his wife and children in London. The U.S. government must do that immediately. He has been held for over 10 years without charge. The detainees not on the list of 55 must also be immediately released, unless they are to be charged and fairly tried in civilian court.