The Straits Times
Published on Nov 09, 2012

Obama urged to fulfill Guantanamo closure pledge


WASHINGTON (AFP) - Rights groups challenged President Barack Obama on Thursday to use his second term to close Guantanamo and end drone attacks, warrantless surveillance and extrajudicial killings.

Shortly after he took office in January 2009, Mr Obama declared that he would shutter the prison camp for "war on terror" suspects within a year, saying it served as a recruiting tool for militants and hurt United States (US) national security.

But Mr Obama's vow has foundered amid deep opposition from lawmakers and other key politicians to moving inmates to the US mainland or holding civil trials for key Al-Qaeda suspects, as well as reluctance from allies to house them.

Rights groups have strongly criticised The President for his Guantanamo failures and for maintaining other stringent security tactics put into practice under his predecessor George W. Bush.