OAS seeks hosts for U.S. detainees

The Organization of American States is asking member countries to consider accepting some of the people detained at Guantanamo naval base in Cuba.

“I request respectfully that those countries that can do so, in a manner consistent with their national policies and their internal legal framework, consider receiving people currently detained in Guantanamo, in order to allow them to resume their lives following their prolonged detention,” said Jose Miguel Insulza, the secretary general, in a release.

The Organization of American States has expressed its concern about the plight of the prisoners through cautionary measures, resolutions, examinations of cases, hearings and press releases, requesting for these people treatment in strict accordance with universal and regional norms regarding human rights, to which organization countries have adhered, it said.

In 2011 the organization noted that via a resolution it urged the United States to close the facility and arrange for trials or release of the prisoners.

“More than half of the prisoners that remain in Guantanamo are in conditions to be freed, but have not been for the lack of a country that will receive them,” said the Insulza statement. “These are people who have not been judged, nor will they be, for any crime, and the exhaustive evaluations that they have been submitted to by the authorities of the United States have determined that they do not present serious risks to the security of the country, nor to any that receives them.”

The statement noted that there are 79 inmates who are ready to be freed but no country has stepped forward to accept them. Since 2009 18 countries have accepted 48 detainees and reduced the number of inmates to 149, the statement said.

The Guantanamo base added a high security prison in 2002 to accept individuals captured in Afghanistan, Iraq and a few other Mideast countries. President Barack Obama has been seeking to close the facility since he took office, but Congress has declined to provide the money to do so.

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