The United Nations' top human rights official pressed the U.S. on Friday to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, strongly criticizing the indefinite detention of inmates at the facility.
Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, said she is "deeply disappointed" Washington hasn't closed the facility. She urged all branches of the government to work together to shut it. She also added:
"The continuing indefinite incarceration of many of the detainees amounts to arbitrary detention and is in clear breach of international law."
It may be recalled that President Barack Obama pledged to shutter the prison soon after taking office, but Congress opposed it, passing a law that prohibits the government from transferring Guantanamo prisoners to U.S. soil and requiring security guarantees before they can be sent elsewhere.
Pillay said of a hunger strike currently being staged by detainees that "given the uncertainty and anxieties surrounding their prolonged and apparently indefinite detention in Guantanamo, it is scarcely surprising that people's frustrations boil over and they resort to such desperate measures."