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

 

Detainees In Guantánamo Bay And Protection Of Law

Detainees In Guantánamo Bay And Protection Of The Law

News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International

USA: Detainees in Guantánamo Bay should not be beyond the protection of the law

AI Index: AMR 51/186/2002 (Public)
13 December 2002

Amnesty International has today written to the US Government reiterating its deep concern in relation to the continuing detention without charge or trial of more than 600 non-US nationals in the United States naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

"Some of these detainees have been in a legal black hole for almost a year", Amnesty International pointed out.

"Their conditions of detention -- held in small cells for up to 24 hours a day with no access to lawyers or family -- together with no indication as to if, or when, they will be tried or released, continue to raise urgent legal and welfare issues," the organization added.

Amnesty International calls for the voluntary repatriation of all those detained as combatants during the international armed conflict in Afghanistan, as required under the Geneva Conventions, unless they are to be charged with criminal offences or would face serious human rights abuses if returned to their country.

"Although the US Government has not granted any of the detainees prisoner of war status, it has stated that they will be treated in a manner reasonably consistent with the Geneva Conventions", Amnesty International said.

"As the international armed conflict has come to an end, the question of repatriation or fair trial, must now be tackled. This legal limbo must be ended," the international human rights organization noted.

The letter reiterates Amnesty International's call for no-one to be tried under the military commissions announced in a Military Order signed by President Bush in November 2001. There have been reports that individuals may soon be named for appearance before such commissions: executive bodies which would flout international fair trial standards, and would have the power to hand down death sentences with no right of appeal.

The organization raises the issue of people detained outside the USA and held in undisclosed locations, as well as the cases of Yaser Esam Hamdi and Jose Padilla, US nationals held as "enemy combatants" in the USA.

Amnesty International also renewed its request to visit the Guantánamo facility. Its earlier requests, made in January and April, have met with no response.

"We hope that this time we get a response, and that the response is positive", Amnesty International said, recalling Secretary of State Colin Powell's assertion in March that the "Bush administration is working in cooperation with governments, inter-governmental organizations, non-governmental groups and individuals to help bring human rights performance into compliance with international norms."

"At that time, Secretary Powell was stressing the USA's commitment to promoting human rights in other countries," Amnesty International continued stressing that "it must now apply that same scrutiny to itself, including in relation to all these detentions."

Amnesty International also recalls that in July the Council on Foreign Relations recommended that the US Government pay ''special attention to relations with non-governmental organizations [and] international organizations''. The US has ignored repeated calls from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to have a court determine the status of the Guantánamo detainees.

**********************

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: Zimbabwe - Meet The New Bosses

At 75, Mnangagwa is not exactly what you’d call a new broom. As many observers have pointed out, his track record has been one of unswerving dedication to Mugabe ever since the days of anti-colonial insurgency... To these guys, things had to change in Zimbabwe, so that things could remain the same. More>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO: