“The Italian government decision to help the Obama administration in closing the Guantanamo detention center – a longtime symbol of arbitrary detention, torture and suspension of the habeas corpus – is to be appreciated” says Patrizio Gonnella, president of Antigone and the Italian Coalition of Civil Rights and Freedoms (CILD), commenting the news of the transfer of a Yemen prisoner to Italy on humanitarian grounds. The man has been detained for 14 years in Guantanamo.
The Italian government decision follows the joint EU-USA declaration of 15th June 2009 on the closure of the detention center.
“It is obviously very important for Italy to ensure the protection of rights and guarantees which have so long been denied by the USA. Starting with the right to a fair trial and sentence and the right to access legal aid”.
Some Guantanamo prisoners have indeed been detained for years without any charge or trial. The American authorities have still not provided any information on the legal status of the man and whether he is going to be subjected to detention in Italy.
“For our part, we are available to provide legal aid to Fayiz Ahmad Yahia Suleiman in case he needs it” concludes Gonnella.