January 12, 2009

Executive Order Must Provide Details For Closing Prison And Military Commissions, Says ACLU

CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

NEW YORK – News reports indicate that President-elect Obama, according to his advisers, will order the closure of Guantánamo during his first week in office.

The following can be attributed to Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union:

"While the news from unnamed sources in the Obama transition team about the closing of Guantánamo is certainly welcome, what we need are specifics about the timeline for the shuttering of the military commissions and the release or charging of detainees who have been indefinitely held for years. Executive orders are an important first step. But we trust that President-elect Obama will provide a detailed plan for ending the Guantánamo military commissions, shutting down the Guantánamo military prison and ending President Bush's legacy of indefinite detention. An executive order lacking such detail, especially after the transition team has had months to develop a comprehensive plan on an issue this important, would be insufficient. What we need is an executive order that is less about rhetoric and more about a detailed plan – and we're hoping that that is what President-elect Obama has planned for January 20."

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