RALEIGH — A small group of protesters gathered outside the federal courthouse in Raleigh on Friday to call on President Obama to honor his pledge to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba.
Members of N.C. Stop Torture Now held signs urging Obama to end the indefinite detention of people held at the prison. The rally was timed to the one-year anniversary of a speech Obama gave pledging to redouble efforts to close the center, where men captured in combat and counter-terrorism operations have been held since 2001.
“There is no excuse for further delay in closing Guantanamo,” said Beth Brockman, a member of N.C. Stop Torture Now. “The President has the power to shutter the prison and needs to use his authority, or his promise is meaningless.”
On the first full day of his presidency in 2009, Obama signed an executive order to close Guantanamo within a year. Opposition to releasing the detainees or bringing them to the United States has helped keep the prison open.
Friday’s protest in Raleigh was part of a coordinated day of protests organized by human rights organizations in more than 40 cities around the world.