WASHINGTON (Middle East Eye) – A group of 75 Democrat members of the U.S. Congress have sent a letter urging the Biden administration to follow through on its promise and close the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay.
The letter, led by Congressmen David Price and Adam Schiff, and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, is the latest effort from Congress to pressure the White House into closing the infamous detention facility.
“The continued operation of the prison is a stain on our international reputation and undermines our ability to advocate for human rights and the rule of law,” read the letter.
“We recognize that closing the prison will take time, but we believe the time has come with your leadership.”
The Biden administration has previously said it planned to close the prison before the end of the president’s term in office, however, has not publicly provided a concrete plan or timetable.
White House Secretary Jen Psaki said in February that closing the high security prison “certainly is our goal and our intention”, and the National Security Council has also reportedly launched a formal review of the Guantanamo Bay prison.
The prison at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay was established in 2002 and at its height held 780 detainees, but after nearly two decades that number has dwindled to 39 detainees, 10 of whom have been approved for transfer to other countries.
In April, two dozen senators sent a similar letter to Biden, calling the prison a “symbol of lawlessness and human rights abuses”.
The letter comes several weeks after the Biden administration transferred its first detainee from the detention center, a Moroccan man named Abdul Latif Nasser who had been held there for nearly 20 years without charge. Nasser was transferred to his home country.