UK Attorney General says Guantanamo should close

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

File image of detainees upon arrival at Camp X-Ray, January 2002

The Attorney General of the United Kingdom, Lord Goldsmith, has called for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp at a speech in London today. He said that "the existence of Guantanamo Bay remains unacceptable - it is time, in my view, that it should close." The United States, which operates the naval base, has been under pressure for some time to close the camp, over fears that prisoners have been mistreated and are being held for long periods of time without conviction or trial.

Lord Goldsmith said, "Not only would it, in my personal opinion, be right to close Guantanamo as a matter of principle, I believe it would also help to remove what has become a symbol to many - right or wrong - of injustice. The historic tradition of the United States as a beacon of freedom, liberty and of justice deserves the removal of this symbol."

In the past few days, U.S. President George Bush has said he "would very much like to end Guanatanamo," but said he had to wait for a Supreme Court ruling on whether inmates could be tried by military or civilian courts. This ruling is expected in June.

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