[QODLink]
Americas

Pentagon names envoy for Guantanamo closure

Lawyer Paul Lewis appointed to oversee closure of US military jail as President Obama renews push to shut facility.

Last Modified: 09 Oct 2013 05:17
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

The Pentagon has named Paul Lewis as its special envoy for closing the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel announced the appointment on Tuesday.

It was part of President Barack Obama's renewed push to close the prison, which remains open despite his 2009 pledge to shutter the facility within a year.

Lewis has been an attorney for the Democratic minority on the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, where he deals with Guantanamo-related issues.

"Special Envoy Lewis brings a wealth of experience from his previous position," the Pentagon said in a statement. 

 In his new position, he will work with the State Department on transferring Guantanamo detainees to other countries. He will also oversee efforts to transfer third-country nationals held by the US in Afghanistan.

He is to take up his position on November 1.

Obama created two special envoy positions to work on closing Guantanamo. Attorney Clifford Sloan was appointed in June to be the State Department envoy. Lewis will serve as his counterpart at the Pentagon.

Obama campaigned on a pledge to close the base, created under his Republican predecessor George W Bush to detain
prisoners held in the US fight against al-Qaeda following the September 11, 2001, attacks. But resistance in Congress and difficulty finding countries willing to take the inmates has prevented the closure.

There are currently 164 inmates held at the facility.

224

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Assam officials upset that WWII-era Stillwell Road won't be used in transnational highway linking four Asian nations.
Informal health centres are treating thousands of Syrian refugees in Turkey, easing the pressure on local hospitals.
Indonesian and Malaysian authorities are keeping a close eye on local supporters of the hard-line Middle East group.
Wastewater ponds dot the landscape in US states that produce gas; environmentalists say they’re a growing threat.
China President Xi Jinping's Mongolia visit brings accords in the areas of culture, energy, mining and infrastructure.
join our mailing list