Wednesday, 16 October 2013
Today is Blog Action Day, which today marks the issue of human rights.Where to start human rights effects us all, daily global injustices, a whole myriad of issues. Unfortunately the list of human rights abuses is endless. I have written recently about the plight of the Palestinians, refugees and asylum seekers, today I thought I'd change tack a little and remind the world of the plight of Guantanamo Bay.
Leading human rights groups have accused President Barak Obama of not following through on a commitment to shut down the prison at Guantanamo Bay, more than four months have passed since he delivered his May 23, 2013, apeech at the National Defense University, in which he committed the United States to the goal of closing the Guantanamo prison, following a broken promise of five years earlier but, since then the population of Guantanamo has only been reduced by only two detainess, noving only from 166 to 164. Of these detainess, 84 were cleared for tranfer by national security officials more than four years ago.
The U.S.A claim to be a champion of human rights cannot survive whilst this prison remains open.11 years since the first prisoners were first tranferred to the prison camp and the world is still living with this insult to justice. It is now time for Obama to give good on his promise.
Guantanamo has come to symbolise the shocking human rights violations associated with the so called 'war on terror, including arbitrary detention, secret detention, torture and other ill-treatment, together with renditions and unfair trials.
It has also recently been revealed that the U.S secretly used a variety of tactics to break the will and resolve of Guantanamo Bay hunger strikers, with Shaker Aamer, the last former British resident, after nearly 18 years behind bars, held without charge or conviction of any charge, being particularly targeted, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/12/us-military-stormed-hunger-striker-cell .
The fact remains that human rights concerns in Guantanamo Bay remain an unfinished story, where people have been abandoned by the principles of jutice that America, so often proudly boasts about. It is now time, and right for the U.S Government to close its book on this prison, ends its use of unlawful detention, and close Guantanamo for good , and meets its human rights obligations.
Though this issue no longer attracts global headlines, it is an issue that refuses to go away, and cannot be simply sidelined and swept awy. The fact remains that many still languish inside Guantanamo, abandoned by the principles of justice that America so often proudly boasts about.
The following video gives testimony from five detainess, in this animated film revealing the daily brutality of life inside Guantanamo prison, where prisoners are kept indefinitely without charge or trial by the country that claims to be the beacon of civilization for the rest of the world. WARNING: Contains disturbing images.
Here is a link to an organisation called Reprive that campaigns to deliver justice and save lives in Guantanamo Bay.
and here is a link to an Amnesty International page about the subject.