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Amnesty International (AI) today called for the government of the United States to close the prison at the Guantánamo military base in Cuba and give the location of the 38 prisoners who are believed to be held in secret detention centers.

At an event held outside the U.S. embassy in Spain, Esteban Beltrán -director of AI in Spain - and former Guantánamo prisoner Ruhal Ahmed, presented a letter signed by 170 Spanish parliamentarians supporting the closure of the military prison.

In a statement to the press, Beltrán commented that on the sixth anniversary of the arrival of the first prisoners in Guantánamo, AI will hand in a petition to the government of the United States, signed by 1,200 parliamentarians from different countries around the world protesting their opposition to the prison.

Beltrán explained that events of this kind are to take place outside U.S. embassies in different parts of the world, with the aim that, aside from the White House, these signatures will also reach the presidential hopefuls in that country.

He stated that "this prison in Guantánamo is the tip of the iceberg that has set back U.S. policy on human rights 60 years thanks to the Military Commissions Act, passed last October, which legalizes torture."

He expressed his regret that despite the fact that the petition to close the prison at Guantánamo is international, achieving this objective would not solve the problem as it is already known that there are other secret detention centers.

He confirmed that according to information from AI, some 38 prisoners from different parts of the world (including Spanish citizen Mustafá Setmarián Nazar) are being imprisoned in these secret centers.

He added that there are still some 300 prisoners in Guantanámo from a total of 800 who originally arrived there, and that 19 prisoners have arrived at the military base in the last 15 months.

The head of the organization in Spain also mentioned that they are set to stage other events in order to ensure that this subject is tackled in the presidential campaigns in the United States.

(Granma International)

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