Just over a year ago, Saiid Farhi, an Algerian, was flown home from the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after a federal court ordered his release.
No one has left since.
The string of victories that Guantanamo detainees enjoyed in U.S. District Court has been reversed by the federal appeals court in Washington. The Obama administration has insisted that restrictions imposed by Congress are so onerous, it cannot repatriate or resettle the detainees it has cleared for transfer. And as the facility approaches its 10th anniversary on Wednesday, human rights groups have bemoaned its seeming permanency and the Obama administration’s failure to close it.
To mark the anniversary, Guantanamo detainees on Tuesday began three days of protests, according to an attorney for a handful of the men. Some refused to return to their cells for the four-hour nightly lockdown and slept in the recreation areas. Others said they would refuse food for the duration of the protest. A number of human rights groups, including Amnesty International, are also planning a demonstration outside the White House on Wednesday, followed by a march to the Supreme Court.
Of the 171 detainees remaining at Guantanamo, 59 have been cleared for transfer. The Obama administration has determined that an additional 30 Yemenis could be repatriated if conditions improve in their homeland. The remainder would be prosecuted or held indefinitely, the administration has said.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday that President Obama remains committed to closing the facility at Guantanamo.