Human Rights Groups Must Push To Reopen Gitmo Office In US State Department - Activist

Human Rights Groups Must Push to Reopen Gitmo Office in US State Department - Activist

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 12th January, 2019) Human Rights activists must focus on getting the Trump administration to reopen the Office of the Special Counsel for Guantanamo Closure at the US Department of State, advocacy group Close Guantanamo co-founder Andy Worthington told Sputnik.

"Priority must be to push the Trump administration to reopen the Office of the Special Envoy for Guantanamo Closure at the State Department," Worthington said on Friday.

The office had functioned through the Obama administration, but since Donald Trump took office there was no office or official in the US government with direct responsibility for the 40 prisoners at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Worthington earlier told a meeting at the New America think tank.

"There literally is no one in the Trump administration where issues about individual prisoners or where the wider functioning of Guantanamo can be addressed... No one has anyone in the United States government to talk to.

That is an absolute disgrace," he said.

Worthington, author of a book on the history of the prisoners held at Guantanamo in President George W. Bush's Global War on Terror expressed his pessimism about whether the Guantanamo detention center would soon be closed and the remaining prisoners held without trail there would ever be released.

Worthington acknowledged an "absolute sense of futility... I don't think there's much hope,' he said.

Worthington also expressed skepticism whether the new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives would make any serious effort to close the Guantanamo detention center and resolve the cases of the remaining prisoners there.

"I doubt whether the Democrats (would risk acting) on an issue that most of the country are silent about," Worthington said.

Friday marked the 17th anniversary of the opening of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

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