U.S. releases names of 'indefinite detainees' at Guantanamo
Newspaper sues federal government for information
The names of dozens of detainees held at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were released for the first time on Monday after a newspaper sued the federal government for the information.
The list identifies 46 inmates being held for "continued detention" at the facility, which President Barack Obama has vowed to close. The report was made public after a lawsuit from the Miami Herald. The Obama administration first acknowledged that detainees were being held indefinitely in Guantanamo in 2010, but didn't make their identities public until now.
As of Tuesday, 104 of the 166 current Guantanamo detainees are staging a hunger strike. They are protesting their treatment and indefinite detention, resulting in force feedings of 44, according to Capt. Robert Durand, a spokesperson for the Joint Task Force.
Durand said they "do not comment on the detainees in Camp 7." That camp holds 15 "high-value detainees," so the accrual number of detainees on strike could be higher.
The list released Monday was the product of a 2010 federal review of the status of each detainee, which was commissioned by President Barack Obama as a step toward closing the facility.
Obama has recently renewed his vow to shut the prison established last decade to house suspected terrorists.
Of the 46 detainees listed for indefinite detention, the report shows that 26 are from Yemen, 10 are from Afghanistan, three are from Saudi Arabia, two each are from Libya and Kuwait, and one each are from Kenya, Somalia and Morocco.
Human rights groups have long protested the detention of suspected enemy fighters who haven't been charged with crimes.
The government says the detainees are too dangerous to transfer but cannot be tried, characterizing them as war prisoners under the 2001 "Authorization for Use of Military Force Act."
"It is fundamental to democracy that the public know the identities of the people our nation is depriving of liberty and why they are being detained," said Dixon Osburn, the director of the Law and Security Program at the group Human Rights First.
"The United States has held some of the men at Guantanamo now for over a decade. Today's revelation is welcome, though long overdue. The administration should use its authority under current law immediately to transfer the 86 detainees already cleared for transfer out of Guantanamo," Osburn said.
Of the 86 detainees cleared for transfer, 56 are from Yemen. Currently, a moratorium is in place on transferring prisoners back to Yemen, citing the country's current security situation.
One of Obama's initiatives in his new bid to close Guantanamo is lifting that ban.
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