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Gitmo prisoner review hearing to be closed

Nov. 18, 2013 at 5:21 PM

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Detainees pleading their case for release from the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will do so behind closed doors, the Defense Department said.

The Pentagon said it notified those who seeking to observe this week's first hearing of the Guantanamo Bay Periodic Review Board that it would not be open to the public, The Hill reported Monday.

When The Miami Herald first reported the decision last week, it said Alan Liotta, the Defense Department's deputy director of detainee affairs, said the Pentagon was committed to "beginning the PRB process as expeditiously and transparently as possible," but was still working on procedures concerning access.

Liotta sent the letter of denial to Human Rights Watch.

The hearings are an updated version of the Bush-era Administrative Review Boards that evaluated whether it was time for a detainee to be released. President Obama by executive order in 2011 created the Periodic Review Board to review detainees' cases as part of the administration's work to close the prison.

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