From the Irish Times:
US President Barack Obama’s attempts to reach out to Muslims have been an “utter failure” given his broken promises on several issues including closing Guantánamo Bay detention facility, former inmate Moazzam Begg has said.
Begg, a British national who spent two years in Guantánamo before being released in 2005, fears the detention centre may become permanent.
“People who were released from Guantánamo after Obama came to power told me that conditions had improved slightly but nobody there was under the illusion that [it] was going to close,” Begg said during a visit to Dublin.
“It is like a town now and every thing around it has continued to expand. It seems that this is a permanent facility and they intend to keep it as such.”
Begg, whose organisation, Cageprisoners, recently expanded its work to include the highlighting of extra-judicial killings, particularly the use of drone strikes, argued little had changed despite Obama’s promises. “We say that Bush was the president of torture, but Obama is the president of extra-judicial killing. The difference between the two is that while one used to extra-judicially detain people, the other has gone a step further and extra-judicially kills them.”
Begg singled out Obama’s decision to authorise the targeting of Yemen-based cleric Anwar al-Awlaki for assassination earlier this year. Cageprisoners took on Awlaki’s case when he was detained in Yemen in 2006.
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