Dear President-Elect Biden,
The U.S. government’s use of indefinite detention without charge as a response to the attacks of September 11, 2001 has been unlawful from the outset. This detention regime must be brought to an end. I ask you to please shut down the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay as one of your first actions as President.
The impunity that persists in relation to the enforced disappeareance, torture and other ill treatment, and other human rights violations committed against these detainees is unacceptable, and a stain on the U.S. human rights record. Torture and enforced disappearance are crimes under international law.
As an Amnesty International supporter and supporter of human rights, I urge you to work toward a lawful solution for the detainees still held at the Guantánamo Bay facility by: either transferring them for release, or bringing individuals to trial in civilian federal courts, if this can be achieved in accordance with international law and standards and without recourse to the death penalty.
All detainees already cleared for transfer should be transferred immediately to countries that will respect their human rights. The remaining men who have not been charged with a crime should likewise be transferred as soon as possible. Those who were subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment must receive genuine access to rehabilitation and redress. Finally, the individuals responsible for torture and enforced disappearance must be brought to justice in a fair trial, and again, without recourse to the death penalty.
This appeal is long overdue, and as President of the United States, you have a real opportunity to show leadership by finally ending these human rights violations. Please, I urge you to close Guantánamo Bay once and for all.