President Barack Obama is due to sign an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay detention centre.
The ruling will see the facility closed within a year. Critics claim Guantanamo and its harsh compound, Camp X-Ray, violates domestic and international detainee rights and damages Americia’s human rights record. An estimated 245 men are being held at Guantanamo. Most have been imprisoned for years without being charged. The new administration is also to suspend the trials at Guantanamo for 120 days pending a review. Law Professor Jonathan Turley, from the George Washington University thinks its a wise move: “I think Obama needed to take this action, he needed to show the world that he’s not a warmed over George Bush, that he is going to return this country to the standard of law. It was a very important and defining moment.” Its widely expected that President Obama will name veteran Democratic senator George Mitchell as his new Middle East envoy. Mitchell earned his stripes as a conflict negotiator in Northern Ireland, indicating that US policy in the Middle East may become more flexible. Along with the camps shutdown the 44th president is to issue an order on how to interrogate and prosecute al-Qaida, Taliban and others whose activities are considered a threat to the United States.