Obama must live up to Guantanamo pledge: Commissioner
(BRUSSELS) - The European Union's home affairs commissioner urged US President Barack Obama on Wednesday to fulfil his promise to close Guantanamo, calling the continued detention of prisoners "a disgrace".
Marking 10 years since the US naval base in Cuba received its first terror suspects, Cecilia Malstroem wrote on Twitter that it was "A disgrace that prisoners are still held w/o trial."
She added in her first ever message on Twitter: "President Obama, time to live up to your promise."
The White House insisted Monday that Obama was determined to close Guantanamo, which accepted its first prisoners on January 11, 2002, four months after Al-Qaeda flew hijacked planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
Obama declared within hours of taking office in January 2009 that he would shut the camp within a year, saying it was used as a recruiting tool for terrorists and was detrimental to US national security.
But in the face of deep opposition in Congress to moving inmates to the US mainland or holding civil trials for key Al-Qaeda suspects, Obama has failed to live up to his vow.
A decade on, 171 prisoners remain there, most in legal limbo, some awaiting transfer abroad, and at least 40 may never face justice but are deemed too dangerous to ever be freed.
A dozen European countries from Ireland to Albania have accepted more than 50 former inmates who are either citizens, former residents or, in many cases, cannot be returned to their home countries for fear of ill-treatment.
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