Monday, February 06, 2006

Condemned to Guantánamo

In a new report published today, Amnesty International revealed how the US detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, is condemning thousands across the world to a life of suffering, torment and stigmatization.

The report “Guantánamo: Lives torn apart – The impact of indefinite detention on detainees and their families”, contains testimonies of a number of former detainees and their relatives and assesses the current state of those who continue to be imprisoned at Guantánamo, including developments in relation to the ongoing hunger strike and suicide attempts.

Five-hundred men from around 35 nationalities are detained in Guantánamo. Dozens are currently on hunger strike and there have been numerous suicide attempts. None of them have had the lawfulness of their detention reviewed in a court of law. Nine continue to be held despite no longer being defined by the US government as “enemy combatants.”


Amnesty International is calling on the US authorities to:
  • Publish a list of all those detained by the US in Guantánamo and elsewhere;
  • Try or release all Guantánamo detainees;
  • Close Guantánamo and open up all US detention facilities to independent scrutiny;
  • Investigate all allegations of torture and ill-treatment of detainees in US custody.
I'll note this is Amnesty's same prescription to the Egyptian government for correcting the abuses in its "war on terror." I remember shortly after 9/11, the Egyptian ambassador Nabil Fahmy coming to my university to discuss the war on terror. "America should listen to us," he told the audience. "We warned them. We know how to fight the war on terror."

It seems that Ambassador Fahmy's wish has come true.


Click here for the report on Guantánamo.

Click here for a report on torture and ill-treatment in the war on terror.

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