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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Obama administration begins review of Guantanamo Bay detainees
Steve Czajkowski at 11:51 AM ET

[JURIST] An Obama administration official said Friday that a review of detainees, the first step in closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], has begun [Los Angeles Times report]. US President Barack Obama [official website] issued the executive order [text] last month that initiated the review process. The order called for the review to be conducted by a "Special Task Force on Detainee Disposition," which includes US Attorney General Eric Holder [official profile] and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates [official profile] as co-chairs. The review is intended to determine the options available in regards to the prosecution, transfer, or other dispositions of detainees, along with providing an assessment of detention policies.

On the same day as the executive order for review, Obama issued the executive order [text; JURIST report] directing that the military prison be closed "as soon as practicable, and no later than 1 year from the date of this order." The order also instructed Gates immediately to halt military commission [DOD materials; JURIST news archive] proceedings pending a comprehensive review of all Guantanamo detentions under the supervision of the Attorney General. The order did not specify where detainees would go upon release, but it did call for diplomatic efforts with foreign states in order to facilitate the closure of the facility.

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