London – US President Donald Trump’s decision to keep Guantanamo Bay prison open and fill it with more prisoners shows that the United States, is continuing on the same trajectory that has brought no end to violence in the never-ending and self perpetuating ‘War on Terror’.

He has suggested that new prisoners from the conflict in Syria and Iraq may be sent there – to add to the 41 remaining prisoners. Since Guantanamo is a legal black hole where torture takes place, this is a move that further undermines the rule of law.

This threatens to damage the reputation of the United States beyond repair, and act as a precedent for repressive regimes worldwide to continue their abuses unfazed by any possibility of accountability.

Moazzam Begg, CAGE outreach director, said:

“Trump has previously stated his belief that “torture works”, that he’d use waterboarding – a medieval torture technique used during the Spanish Inquisition – as a means of extracting information from captives “and a lot more” and that he’d keep Guantanamo open and “load it up with some bad dudes.” Today he began one part of delivering on his promise.”

“It was Obama’s failure to follow through on his promise of closing down Guantanamo and to prosecute those involved in torture, detention-without-trial and false imprisonment, that allowed Trump to use the language of endorsing war crimes. The truth is that these abuses will remain crimes of the very worst kind no matter which US President justifies them.”

“We should all wake up to the reality that detention without trial, torture, indiscriminate killing and other flagrant abuses of the rule of law are the greatest fuel for the grievances that perpetuate current cycles of violence.”

(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)