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

 


Guantánamo: “Indefinite Detention – Will it Ever End?"

Guantánamo/Human Rights: “Indefinite Detention – Will it Ever End?”

WASHINGTON / GENEVA (1 May 2013) – “The United States must respect and guarantee the life, health and personal integrity of detainees at the Guantánamo Naval Base, particularly in the context of the current hunger strike,” today said* a group of international experts on human rights, arbitrary detention, torture, counter- terrorism and health.

“We have received specific information regarding the severe and prolonged physiological and psychological damage caused by the detainees’ high degree of uncertainty over basic aspects of their lives, such as not knowing whether they will be tried orwhether they will be released and when; or whether they will see their family members again,” said the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which has been following closely the situation in Guantanamo.  

“At Guantánamo, the indefinite detention of individuals, most of whom have not been charged, goes far beyond a minimally reasonable period of time and causes a state of suffering, stress, fear and anxiety, which in itself constitutes a form of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment,” stressed the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Juan E. Méndez.

“We have received specific information regarding the severe and prolonged physiological and psychological damage caused by the detainees’ high degree of uncertainty over basic aspects of their lives, such as not knowing whether they will be tried orwhether they will be released and when; or whether they will see their family members again,” said the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which has been following closely the situation in Guantanamo.  

The UN Special Rapporteur on countering terrorism, Ben Emmerson, drew attention to the fact that the US Government has admitted that there are at least 86 prisoners who have been cleared for transfer. “In other words,” he noted, “all relevant security-related government agencies or authorities have expressly certified that those detainees do not represent a threat to U.S. security.”

“Of those, 56 are Yemeni nationals who have been denied release based solely on their nationality and on the political situation in Yemen, which constitutes a clear violation of the principle of non-discrimination and renders their detention arbitrary and constitutes a flagrant violation of international law,” explained El Hadji Malick Sow, who currently heads the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

In the context of the ongoing hunger strike, the UN Special Rapporteur on health, Anand Grover, stressed that “health care personnel may not apply undue pressure of any sort on individuals who have opted for the extreme recourse of a hunger strike, nor is it acceptable to use threats of forced feeding or other types of physical or psychological coercion against individuals who have voluntarily decided to go on a hunger strike.”    

The experts urged the US Government to adopt concrete measures to end the indefinite detention of persons; to ensure the detainees are either released or prosecuted in accordance with due process and the principles and standards of international human rights law; to allow for independent monitoring by international human rights bodies; and to close the detention center at the Guantánamo Naval Base.

Over the past decade, there have been numerous requests by these and other experts to access the Guantánamo detention center and to hold private, confidential interviews with detainees - with no success.

(*) Check the expert’s full public statement:  http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=13278&LangID=E

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On How Obama’s Supreme Court Choice Says Everything (Bad) About His Presidency

Nothing has epitomised the presidency of Barack Obama quite like his Supreme Court nominees. Time and again, Republican presidents will blithely nominate right wing ideological extremists (Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas) who only sometimes misfire and turn out to be liberals in disguise (David Souter). Yet Obama has consistently skipped over the judicially qualified liberals and gone for a succession of centrists... More>>

ALSO:

Turkey: UN Secretary-General On The Terrorist Bombing In Ankara

The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack in Ankara earlier today. According to the latest reports, the explosion in the Kizilay district killed and wounded dozens of people. More>>

ALSO:

Five Years On: Fukushima And New Zealand

Science Media Centre: It was the worst nuclear event since Chernobyl. In the wake of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, a crippled Japanese nuclear powerplant went into meltdown, and the world watched as emergency workers scrambled to shut down and contain the reactors. More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF: 1 In 3 Syrian Children Has Grown Up Knowing Only Crisis

An estimated 3.7 million Syrian children – 1 in 3 of all Syrian children - have been born since the conflict began five years ago, their lives shaped by violence, fear and displacement, according to a UNICEF report. This figure includes more than 151,000 children born as refugees since 2011. More>>

ALSO:

Franklin Lamb: Syria’s Truce Bodes Well For Salvaging Our Cultural Heritage

The tentative cessation of hostilities in Syria, which came into effect on 2/28/2016, brokered by Washington and Moscow, is only in its second week... It is well documented that there have been daily incidents of artillery shelling, airstrikes and clashes. Yet, for the nearly 12 million displaced civilians, half of Syria’s population, it’s a much welcomed respite. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Rubio’s Last Stand (And Sleater-Kinney)

Well, it certainly was entertaining to watch Rubio succeed in getting under Donald Trump’s skin the other day, in the last debate before tomorrow’s Super Tuesday multi-state sweepstakes... The real killer for Rubio was that the most recent poll from Florida which shows him losing his home state to Trump by a huge margin in the primary due on March 15. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news