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Former detainees call for shutdown of Guantanamo Bay

Monday, January 11, 2016 - 01:19

A group of British former Guantanamo Bay detainees protest outside the US embassy in London on the anniversary of the infamous prison camp's opening 14 years ago. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT - SUBTITLED (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: The last British detainee to be released from Guantanamo Bay was joined by other former prisoners on Monday (January 11) to demonstrate outside the US embassy in London and demand the infamous jail be closed down. Shaker Aamer and the other detainees posed for photos outside the embassy on the 14th anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo Bay. It was the first time the men have met Aamer since they were incarcerated together. "We want everybody to know that today we are here not as brothers from Guantanamo, but as everybody, all of you, the media outlets, for one reason: it is truly to bring justice back, to close Guantanamo once and for all," said Aamer as he posed with his fellow former prisoners. Aamer was released in October last year after 14 years in American detention. He was never charged with any crime. Aamer was the last British prisoner to be freed, after a long campaign by the British government and supporters. Mohamed Ahmed, a long time supporter of Aamer's, had an emotional reunion with his friend. The pair embraced tightly as Ahmed wept. "I haven't seen this man for over 14 years. And you see him crying, like a baby. Imagine how these rest of the brothers who are sitting there waiting for their loved ones. I think they deserve to go home," said Aamer. U.S. President Barack Obama pledged during the 2008 presidential election campaign that he would close the military prison, which housed foreign terrorism suspects after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. That pledge, still unfilled, has been a feature of his annual State of the Union addresses to the nation ever since. On Sunday (January 10) his chief of staff Denis McDonough announced on Fox News that Obama will make good on a promise to close the prison. Obama will first present a long-awaited plan to Congress about how to close the facility, and seek its approval, McDonough said in an interview. If Congress fails to act, the White House will determine what steps to take, he said. Obama has said the facility has been used as a recruiting tool in propaganda from groups like al Qaeda, and also is far too costly to maintain. There are 104 detainees left at the prison. Where possible, his administration has transferred detainees to other countries. But there is a small number of detainees who the administration says it would like to detain in a U.S. facility for national security reasons. Congress has explicitly banned the transfer of detainees to the United States.

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Former detainees call for shutdown of Guantanamo Bay

Monday, January 11, 2016 - 01:19