July 20, 2021

ACS Welcomes the Transfer of Guantanamo Bay Detainee & Calls for End to Indefinite Detention & Respect for International Humanitarian Law


Contact: Pablo Willis, pwillis@acslaw.org 

Washington, DC — Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Defense announced the transfer of Abdul Latif Nasir to his native country of Morocco after being held for 19 years without being charged. The transfer marked the Biden-Harris Administration’s first detainee release from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“This transfer is welcomed news and long overdue as, this individual was detained for almost two decades without ever being charged and was cleared for release five years ago,” said ACS President Russ Feingold. “In an affront to international humanitarian law for almost 20 years the U. S. government has held detainees in a state of cruel indefinite detention in Guantanamo Bay despite widespread reports of human right abuses at the facility. President Biden now has an opportunity to succeed where his predecessors failed and end indefinite detention.”   

In a statement announcing the release, the White House indicated their commitment to reducing the detainee population at Guantanamo Bay with the goal of closing the facility before President Biden leaves office.  

“Almost 20 years after 9/11 39 men are still being held at Guantanamo Bay,” said Debra Perlin, ACS Director of Policy and Program. “If President Biden truly wants to use ‘all available avenues’ to transfer prisoners and close Guantanamo Bay, we must chart a course forward that respects our constitution and international humanitarian law. At a minimum, this requires stopping indefinite detention, ending inhumane conditions of confinement, and excluding the admissibility of coerced statements.” 

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AMERICAN CONSTITUTION SOCIETY
ACS believes that the Constitution is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” We interpret the Constitution based on its text and against the backdrop of history and lived experience. Through a diverse nationwide network of progressive lawyers, law students, judges, scholars, and many others, we work to uphold the Constitution in the 21st century by ensuring that law is a force for protecting our democracy and the public interest and for improving people’s lives. For more information, visit us at www.acslaw.org or on Twitter at @acslaw.