Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Ilhan Omar urges Biden to close Guantanamo Bay in Teen Vogue essay

Rep. Ilhan Omar, Minnesota, has called on President Joe Biden to permanently close Guantanamo Bay in a new essay published in Teen Vogue.

In the 20th year since the opening of the infamous offshore prison in Guantanamo Bay, Omar said it was time for a prison that has long been known for torturing its inmates, many of whom have never been charged with a crime. Close.

“I reflect on how many people were lost when the United States tortured them, systematically destroying their identity and humanity,” Omar said in an essay published Tuesday. “I reflect on the loss of the families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks — every opportunity for fair and impartial justice — when the United States decided to trade decency and the rule of law for torture and indefinite detention. And I reflect on our refusal to bring anyone to real responsibility for these actions. “

As Omar points out in his essay, 39 people are still in prison, and 27 of them, languishing in an offshore prison, have not been charged with a crime.

Despite Biden’s long-standing and high-profile opposition to the prison, he has done little to remedy the injustice the U.S. government has done against its prisoners, most of whom are Muslim, since taking office in 2021. In October, Biden finally took action when his administration repatriated a Moroccan who had been recommended for release in 2016, but who remained in prison throughout the reign of former President Donald Trump.

In her essay, Omar said more needs to be done, including a complete closure of the prison.

“If the president wants to fulfill his promise to close the facility, he will have to dramatically accelerate the pace,” Omar wrote. “To this end, your votes are critical. Time and again, the leaders of this country – in the public and private sectors – have underestimated the young generation’s ability to change, especially in matters of social and racial justice. ”

Read Omar’s full essay at Teen Vogue.

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