Panel: Roughly 50 Gitmo Detainees Should Be Held Indefinitely Without Charges

Not Enough Evidence to Prosecute, Panel Urges Govt to Just Keep Them

by Jason Ditz, January 28, 2010

Unveiling the results of a yearlong review process on the evidence available for the 192 detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, only about 35 of them have enough evidence against them to ever see a trial, military or otherwise.

Another 100+ detainees are eligible for release, though the administration’s decision to halt all releases to Yemen means that the majority of them are actually in a state of legal limbo. Still, that’s better than the remaining “roughly 50.”

Those 50 fall into a category all their own, with the panel conceding that there isn’t sufficient evidence to charge them with any crimes, but insisting that they also could never be released and should be held under “indefinite detention.”

Though President Obama had initially condemned the idea of detention without trial, he reportedly warmed up to the idea after taking office, and the panel’s recommendation suggests that trials will be the exception, rather than the rule.

Rights groups have expressed serious concern about the idea of detaining large numbers of people, essentially forever, without charging them with anything. For now, however, it seems that the extralegal detention of the Bush Administration will remain in place for the forseeable future in the Obama Administration.

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