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Obama approves resumption of Guantanamo military trials

Trials at the controversial detention facility in Cuba had been suspended two years ago on Obama’s orders, but president now says that ban will be lifted.

Protestors in faux-Guantanamo detention jumpsuits Washington DC, January 2011.
Protestors in faux-Guantanamo detention jumpsuits Washington DC, January 2011.
Image: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

US PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA has approved the resumption of military terror trials at Guantanamo after a two-year ban, despite pledging in 2009 to close the facility within a year.

One of Obama’s presidential campaign pledges was that he would shut down the facility at Guantanamo Bay on the island of Cuba.

Today, the White House released a short statement from the president, saying he was introducing measures to “broaden our ability to bring terrorists to justice, provide oversight for our actions, and ensure the humane treatment of detainees”.

Plans to close the Guantanamo facility have been shelved, according to the AP, because of concerns over where the detainees would be released to.

The Guantanamo centre was established by Obama’s predecessor George Bush to hold terrorist suspects and some of the 9/11 attack suspects are held there. Two years ago, Obama signed an order to suspend the military court’s operations in Guantanamo in preparation for the closure of the facility.

Guantanamo has been strongly criticised by human rights groups such as Amnesty International, which says that the international response to the detention facility has weakened the framework of international human rights. AI has claimed that many of the Guantanamo prisoners have been detained without access to courts or legal advice.

- Includes reporting from the AP

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