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

 


The human rights scandal of Guantanamo Bay


The human rights scandal of Guantanamo Bay

Amnesty International welcomes consideration by the UN Commission on Human Rights of the situation of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay. This is long overdue.

More than two years after the first of the detainees arrived in the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Camp X-Ray and its successor Camp Delta, the United States Government continues to exert unfettered executive power in total disregard for the rule of law. Hundreds of detainees remain held in tiny cells for up to 24 hours a day without any legal process.

International law has been flouted from the outset. None of the detainees was granted prisoner of war status nor brought before a competent tribunal to determine his status, as required by the Third Geneva Convention. None has been granted access to a court to be able to challenge the lawfulness of his detention, as required by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Article 9) to which the United States is a party. Detainees have been denied access to legal counsel and their families. When a state, let alone one as powerful as the United States of America, adopts a selective approach to international law and standards, the integrity of those standards is eroded.

While welcoming that the Commission will consider the arbitrary detention of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Amnesty International is concerned that the Commission has not been asked to consider other human rights violations involving the detainees. These include the cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees and refoulement to countries where released detainees are in danger of torture or other serious human rights violations.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has taken the unusual step of going public about the deterioration in mental health it has witnessed among many of the detainees as a result of the indefinite and isolating incarceration regime. Amnesty International considers the totality of the conditions in which most of the detainees in Guantanamo Bay are held amounts to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

According to a statement by the Department of Defense on 2 April 2004, 146 prisoners have been transferred from Guantanamo Bay to their countries of origin leaving "approximately 595" detainees in the base. Most have been released upon return, but at least 12 have been transferred for continued detention in their home countries. While welcoming releases, Amnesty International is concerned that some detainees may be at risk of serious human rights violations if returned to their home countries for continued detention. Amnesty International considers that the US authorities have a responsibility to ensure that the human rights of the detainees will be fully respected after their transfer.

Guantanamo Bay is a human rights scandal, and Amnesty International believes that the Commission on Human Rights must urgently address this situation in all its aspects. Amnesty International considers that draft resolution L.88 on the question of arbitrary detention in the area of the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo is a welcome development, but it does not go far enough.

Guantánamo Bay: a human rights scandal - http://amnesty-news.c.topica.com/maacaFvaa6c4obb0hPub/

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news