HRW condemns Obama's decision to sign detainee bill

Published: December 15, 2011
The report states that there are currently 171 detainees at Guantanamo.. PHOTO: DoD

The report states that there are currently 171 detainees at Guantanamo.. PHOTO: DoD

The international organisation Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report on Wednesday to condemn US President Barack Obama’s evident decision to sign the bill that would systemise an indefinite detention without trial into the US law.

“By signing this defense spending bill, President Obama will go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch.

The report outlines the far-reaching consequences of the bill which would include Guantanamo detainees being banned from entering the US even for trials. The detainees would also be banned from transferring to home or third world countries, even those cleared by the administration for release.

“It is a sad moment when a president who has prided himself on his knowledge of and belief in constitutional principles succumbs to the politics of the moment to sign a bill that poses so great a threat to basic constitutional rights,” Roth added.

The report stated that this would be the first time since 1950 that detainees would get indefinite detention without trial. During the McCarthy era, Congress overrode the veto of then-President Harry Truman and passed the Internal Security Act.

“President Obama cannot even justify this serious threat to basic rights on the basis of security,” Roth said. “The law replaces an effective system of civilian-court prosecutions with a system that has generated the kind of global outrage that would delight recruiters of terrorists.”

According to the report, there are currently 171 detainees at Guantanamo, many of them imprisoned for nearly 10 years.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • khurram mansoor
    Dec 15, 2011 - 1:27PM


    An other Nobel price for Barrack Obama please


  • Genius
    Dec 15, 2011 - 4:52PM

    Russia was called the “Iron Curtain”. The USA is well on the way to becoming the new “Iron Curtain”. Why? In common to what people do, throughout the world, the people of the USA do nor organise themselves to stop the most evil epople on Earth from ruling over them. This is the irony. People throughout the world suffer the rule of minority of evil people over them, yet are in no mood to come together to take the affairs of their countries in their collective and safe hands. So the rule of evil people will continue.


  • antanu
    Dec 15, 2011 - 5:22PM

    Well… Obama certainly deserves another NOBLE PRIZE.


  • Jessica
    Dec 16, 2011 - 12:56AM

    This makes me sick we need to get him out of office


  • Dec 16, 2011 - 6:15AM

    The NDAA if passed will only go to further stifle our Constitutional Rights without the approval of the Americans, just as the Patriot Act was adopted WITHOUT public approval or vote just weeks after the events of 9/11. A mere 3 criminal charges of terrorism a year are attributed to this act, which is mainly used for no-knock raids leading to drug-related arrests without proper cause for search and seizure. The laws are simply a means to spy on our own citizens and to detain and torture dissidents without trial or a right to council. You can read much more about living in this Orwellian society of fear and see my visual response to these measures on my artist’s blog at


  • gann
    Dec 16, 2011 - 7:05PM

    What Obama just agreed to with signing this bill should show the people of America that we need to vote him out of office, vote in a President that stands for something other than taking away the rights of “we” the American people.


  • Eliza
    Dec 17, 2011 - 4:06PM

    I wouldn’t be surprised if we become just like Syria, cause this sure is sending us on our way over there. …

    We have officially become an oppressed nation with an oppressing government.


  • Tony C.
    Dec 27, 2011 - 8:24PM

    I agree with Antanu’s suggestion of giving President Obama another Nobel Prize. Perhaps we could call it the “Nobel Constitutional Freedom Prize”, or the “Nobel Individual Rights Prize”. The possibilities are endless!


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