World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


AI Requests Access To Guantánamo Base

USA: Amnesty International Requests Access To Guantánamo Base

Amid growing concern about the treatment of prisoners held at the Guantánamo Bay prison in Cuba, Amnesty International today wrote to the US authorities to request access to the detention camp.

"It is essential that these prisoners are granted access to lawyers and human rights monitors to guarantee that their rights are fully respected," the organization said.

Drawing on its decades of experience and research into the treatment of prisoners and techniques used to elicit information from them, the human rights organisation said that the very secrecy surrounding the prisoners is the most alarming thing about the present situation.

"Keeping prisoners incommunicado, sensory deprivation, the use of unnecessary restraint and the humiliation of people through tactics such as shaving them, are all classic techniques employed to 'break' the spirit of individuals ahead of interrogation," Amnesty International said.

"We simply cannot know whether or not this is the aim of the authorities at the prison because they are shrouding the prison in a veil of secrecy and denying the individuals their rights to see lawyers. What we do know, is that these are illegal techniques used around the world to elicit confessions and other information under interrogation. The USA must allow public scrutiny of the prison and allow the prisoners to see their lawyers."

The organization reminded the US authorities that all persons in detention, including those protected by the Geneva Conventions and other international humanitarian law during an armed conflict, have certain fundamental rights, including the right to a fair trial if accused of any crimes. That right includes the right of persons suspected of a crime to be informed of their rights, the right to access to counsel of their choice, the right to silence without that silence being used against them and the right not to be interrogated in the absence of their counsel. They also have the right to access to a judge able to determine the legality of the detention and to order release if that detention is unlawful. Evidence taken in violation of these rights may not be used at trial.

"Denying prisoners their internationally recognised rights -- including the right to a fair trial -- can constitute a war crime under the Geneva Conventions and other international humanitarian law," Amnesty International said.

The organization added that if the prisoners in Guantánamo are rightly the focus of international attention, the world should not forget the thousands of prisoners held in Afghanistan and the hundreds detained under anti-terrorism legislation in countries including the USA and the United Kingdom, whose basic rights -- including that to a fair trial -- are also being denied.

"We campaign against the violation of prisoners' human rights the world over, whoever is responsible for the violations and whoever the prisoners are. There can be no double standards in human rights -- they are universal and indivisible, and it is only by upholding those principles that real justice can be done," Amnesty International concluded.

You may repost this message onto other sources provided the main text is not altered in any way and both the header crediting Amnesty International and this footer remain intact.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>


Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>


Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>


Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>



Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>