U.N. Commisioner for Human Rights Urges U.S. to Close Guantanamo
The U.N High Commisioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, urged the U.S. government to close the Guantanamo Bay prison as President Obama promised a year ago in his annual address to Congress, reports the Associated Press. Pillay said, “the facility continues to exist and individuals remain arbitrarily detained — indefinitely — in clear breach of international law.”
The statement was issued ahead of Obama’s State of the Union address tomorrow. Pillay added that she is “disturbed at the failure to ensure accountability for serious human rights violations, including torture, that took place,” and that she is disappointed the U.S. government “has…entrenched a system of arbitrary detention.”
Pillay’s statement is obviously timed to preface Obama’s State of the Union address, perhaps under the hope that he will offer a similar promise to last year — albeit with a definite plan for closing the Guantanamo Bay Prison. The comments also can be seen as a condemnation of Obama signing into law the controversial NDAA bill, which raised the alarm of human rights watch groups for allowing the military the indefinite detention of prisoners. The NDAA bill was another instance where Obama failed to make good on a promise to protect human rights, as he had previously stated he would veto the bill.
Pillay’s statements are the latest sign that the international community is aware that Obama’s legacy on civil rights has been atrocious — which is especially heinous (and mind-boggling) when you consider that the man used to be a constitutional law professor.
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