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Guantánamo detainees mustn't be returned to abuse

Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International

5 August 2005

USA: Guantánamo detainees must not be returned to more abuse

Guantánamo detainees who are returned to Afghanistan may be at risk of torture, ill-treatment, and other human rights abuses, warned Amnesty International as the USA announced an agreement with the Afghani government to send back around 110 Afghan nationals. The USA also announced plans for similar arrangements with Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

"No government should force people to return to a country where they may be at risk of human rights abuses," said Sharon Critoph, North America researcher at Amnesty International. "The USA's own State Department reports serious human rights violations in all three of the countries to which it is planning to return detainees."

The 2004 US State Department Report for Afghanistan reported that prisoners were beaten, tortured, or denied adequate food. Torture and ill-treatment are common practices in Saudi Arabia, as are harsh prison conditions and indefinite detention without charge or trial. Arbitrary arrest and detention without charge or trial in connection with the "war on terror" is a long-standing concern in Yemen, as are conditions of detention.

"The USA should close Guantánamo and either charge the detainees under US law or release them," said Sharon Critoph. "Afghanistan and other countries receiving Guantánamo detainees should ensure they are released and allowed to live a normal life if they are not to be charged and tried."

Background

Amnesty International yesterday released a report detailing, among other cases, how a Yemeni returned from Guantánamo Bay in April 2004 continues to be detained without charge or trial in prison in Yemen. New reports suggest that Waleed Muhammad Shahir Muhammad al-Qadasi has recently been transferred to another prison, in Sana'a, where his family have no access to him. To see the report, please go to: http://amnesty-news.c.topica.com/maadPWnabjhGRbb0hPub/ .

Amnesty International is campaigning to stop torture and ill-treatment in the "war on terror". For more information, please go to the campaign home page: http://amnesty-news.c.topica.com/maadPWnabjhGSbb0hPub/ .

ENDS

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