Of the 164 men still held at Guantánamo Bay, 84 were cleared to leave in January 2010 by an inter-agency task force established by President Obama. 56 of these men are Yemenis. In a major speech on national security on May 23, 2013, President Obama promised to begin releasing these prisoners and lifted a ban on releasing Yemenis that he imposed after a failed bomb plot hatched in Yemen in December 2009. He also promised to appoint two senior officials to deal specifically with transfers from Guantanamo -- one at the State Department, and one in the Pentagon.
President Obama has appointed both envoys -- Cliff Sloan at the State Department, and Paul Lewis in the Pentagon -- but he has, to date, only released two Algerian prisoners cleared for release since January 2010. But we call on him to continue releasing cleared prisoners, as a matter of urgency, and we also call on him to review the cases of the 80 other prisoners still held, and to put them on trial or release them. President Obama designated 46 of them for indefinite detention without charge or trial in an executive order in March 2011, when he also promised that there would be periodic reviews of their cases. In July 2013, it was announced that these reviews -- the Periodic Review Boards -- are being established. This is good news, but it is imperative that the boards' analysis of the prisoners' cases will be fair and objective.
Call the White House and ask President Obama to release all the men cleared for release, and to make sure that reviews for the other men are fair and objective. Call 202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414 or submit a comment online.
Call the Department of Defense and ask Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to issue certifications for other cleared prisoners: 703-571-3343.
Please also feel free to write to the prisoners at Guantánamo.