Former George W. Bush administration officials had known that the infamous Guantanamo Bay prison complex detained innocent people, Press TV reports.
“Something like that should be tried in The Hague just because that is definitely a war crime. At its peak, Guantanamo housed up to 730 detainees. Right now, there are 86 that have been definitely cleared to leave and that really is a legal travesty,” said Noor Mir, member of CodePink.
The comment came as Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, revealed last month that former US President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld fully knew that many Guantanamo Bay prisoners were not guilty.
Wilkerson added that former Bush officials were reluctant to release the innocent prisoners because of possible political repercussions, a move that critics are accusing US President Barack Obama of continuing today.
“[Obama] has completely turned a blind eye to it. I would say that he is as complicit to this as Bush and Cheney. When we say ‘arrest Bush and Cheney’, we should also be saying ‘arrest Barack Obama’,” said Mir.
Most of the 166 detainees currently held at the Guantanamo Bay prison have been cleared for release or were never charged - a situation that has attracted outcry from certain countries and human rights organizations.
On February 5, some 130 prisoners began a hunger strike to protest against prison conditions and the detainees’ indefinite confinement.
On March 7, 2011 Obama signed an executive order to formally continue the system of indefinite detention at the Guantanamo military prison, after signing an executive order two years earlier to shut down the facility.
The inmates have been kept at Guantanamo without charge since early 2000s.
The Guantanamo detention facility was initially established at a US naval base in Cuba on January 11, 2002, under former US President George W. Bush.