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Obama lifts freeze on Guantanamo military trials

US President Barack Obama announced Monday that he would lift a two-year freeze on military trials for detainees at Guantanamo Bay and issued new guidelines to "ensure the humane treatment" of prisoners held there for indefinite periods.

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AFP - President Barack Obama said Monday he would lift the two-year freeze on new military trials for Guantanamo Bay terror suspects and issued new guidelines on the treatment of indefinite detainees.

Obama, who has been thwarted in his desire to close the camp in Cuba which he said is a recruiting tool for Al-Qaeda, issued the long-awaited decision after a deep review of administration policy.

"I am announcing several steps that broaden our ability to bring terrorists to justice, provide oversight for our actions, and ensure the humane treatment of detainees," Obama said in a statement.

The White House said that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates would soon issue an order "rescinding his prior suspension on the swearing and referring of new charges in the military commissions."

New military commissions at the camp, which contains top suspects from the September 11 attacks, other strikes against the United States and suspects from the battlefields of Afghanistan, have been suspended since January 2009.

Obama also issued guidelines on the treatment of inmates who US authorities deem cannot be tried and are deemed too dangerous to free.

He ruled in an executive order that among other requirements, detainees would have the right to have a periodic review of the reasons for their continued incarceration.
 

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