Animal rights group PETA is calling for the Obama administration to turn the Guantanamo Bay detention facility into an “empathy center” focused on teaching the “justice, respect, understanding, and compassion for all living beings.”
Ingrid Newkirk, president of People for the Ethnical Treatment of Animals (PETA), said in a letter to the official overseeing the closure of the prison that the exhibit could highlight both human and animal abuse over time, according to a USA Today report.
“The closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility represents an opportunity to turn a symbol of torture and injustice into a place of peace and understanding for people of all cultures and nations,” Newkirk said in a statement posted to PETA’s website.
The call comes just days after the White House announced plans to close the prison located on a U.S. naval base in Cuba that currently houses suspected terrorists. Obama had promised during the 2008 election to shut down the Guantanamo prison if elected, but failed to present a viable plan to do so.
PETA, one of the better known animal rights groups, has frequently used high profile news stories to bring attention to their efforts.