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Voice of the People

May. 25, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

Obama must close Guantanamo Bay

President Barack Obama has renewed his promise to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, but his words are not enough for detainees like Nabil Hadjarab. Mr. Hadjarab has spent a third of his life imprisoned there, despite never being charged with anything and even being cleared for release.

Mr. Hadjarab has been taking part in a mass hunger strike for months, a drastic act of despair for prisoners denied justice. Over half of prisoners are cleared for release; others remain indefinitely detained without charges. The Constitution is based on simple, powerful principles like due process, but Guantanamo Bay is "an island outside the law" -- an insult to justice and an affront to human dignity.

If the president is serious, I, on behalf of my constituents here at Marshall University, request the president:

Appoint a senior White House administrator to lead the closure.

Direct the defense secretary to transfer the more than half of detainees already cleared.

Far too long, indefinite detention at Guantanamo Bay has been a stain on America's reputation.

We urge the president to take immediate action to break the impasse and accelerate progress toward closure.

Tommy D.G. Ferrell

Chairman, Judiciary Committee

Marshall University Student Senate

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