‘US to put 20 Gitmo prisoners on trial’

Only 20 of the 166 detainees held at the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison complex will be prosecuted in the war crimes tribunal, an official says.

A 2010 review originally said that 36 detainees would be prosecuted but that figure was Å“ambitious” at best, Army Brigadier General Mark Martins, the chief prosecutor for the tribunals, said this week.

The number was down from 36 to 20 after a recent court ruling cast doubt on the evidence to convict many of the detainees of international war crimes, said the tribunalâ„¢s chief prosecutor.

The US appeals court in Washington has rejected the conviction of Osama bin Ladenâ„¢s former driver, Salim Hamdan, who was convicted of providing material support to al-Qaeda terrorists.

However, the courts found that material support was not internationally recognized as a war crime.

The majority of Guantanamo prisoners have been held for over a decade without charge, with many experts saying the drop in prosecutions means they will stay in indefinite detention.

On June 7, the White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, Senator Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, as well as Senator John McCain said in a joint statement that they would take the required measures to close the military prison.

Prisoners have complained of abuse and torture, and rights activists and international observers have censured the US government’s use of the detention center.

Over 100 out of 166 detainees have been on a hunger strike for more than 100 days in protest against their long confinement without charge or trial, as well as the horrible and degrading conditions at the jail.


This article originally appeared on: Press TV