An Unhappy Anniversary – 10 Years of Unlawful Detention……

12 Jan

11 January 2012 marks the 10th anniversary of the creation of a ‘prison’ at the US Naval base, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Unlawful Detention……

The American Government claim that the prison at Guantanamo Bay is used to detain “enemy combatants” picked up in the “theatre of war”.  Both of these definitions may sound plausible but do not hold any water in reality.  As far as the American Government are concerned an “enemy combatant” is anybody they deem to be one.  The “theatre of war” is anywhere on planet Earth.  The majority of the 779 men and boys detained at Guantanamo Bay were not on what you or I would define a battlefield i.e. they were not attacking American troops, were not armed and in most cases not in a country at war with America including the United Kingdom.

The majority of detainees have not been told why they are being held, have virtually no access to legal representation, humanitarian organisations or the due process of law.

On 22 January 2009, President Obama signed executive orders directing the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facilities within a year and the immediate case-by-case review of detainees still held at the facility.

171 prisoners remain in illegal detention at Guantanamo Bay……

Rules of Engagement……

There is a rich history of “standards” by which countries Armed Forces are expected to adhere.  They cover many aspects of engagement such as the use of indiscriminate weapons affecting civilians and the treatment of prisoners of war.  Since the declaration of a “War on Terror” many of the internationally respected rules of engagement have been redefined or simply ignored.  The torture of detainees was accepted as inhumane by civilised nations and held up as an example of how dictators behaved toward their own citizens.  Under UK law it is deemed unacceptable to extradite someone to a country suspected of torturing its own people.  To justify its own complicity in the torture of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, the American administration redefined what constituted torture despite international condemnation from its allies.  I hold our own Government complicit due to its involvement in the extra-judicial “extraordinary rendition” of UK nationals to Guantanamo Bay (via countries considered unsuitable for lawful extradition by our courts)……

Actions Speak Louder than Words……

Western governments condemn the actions of the countries they deem a threat whilst engaging with others known for their abuse of human rights.  The treatment of women in Saudi Arabia who are subjected to medieval punishments and abuse at the hands of men holds little sway with the American and UK governments with whom they have lucrative oil and military hardware contracts, whilstIranis portrayed as a rogue state for what appears to be the same behaviour.  We put the resources of our armed forces behind the overthrow of Gaddafi while seeming to ignore the abuses of Syrian nationals faced with the same circumstances.  The genocide in Rwanda was carried out as the west watched and Israel continues to breach UN resolution 242, passed on 22 November 1967 in the aftermath of the Six Day War and called for the withdrawal of forces from territories occupied in the conflict.  To this day the media portrays the Palestinians as the aggressors when in reality they are acting in defence of their territory……

Conclusions……

We are cocooned in the safety of our homes surrounded by the technology and comforts to which we have become accustomed.  Whether we live in a truly democratic society is debatable.  We may have the right to a vote every four or five years but to whoever you allocate that vote seems of little relevance as the mandate upon which they elected is not binding and usually forgotten immediately once they objective of being elected is achieved. 

Short of galvanising enough opinion and support to revolt against our Government, the main weapon we have is the World Wide Web.  Do not underestimate the power of enlightenment and use this portal to spread the message and fight the hypocrisy……

Contact your MP and the Ministers of State, ask questions and request answers……

Join relevant organisations and sign up for newsletters……

Follow The Dripping Tap……

References & Organisations……

http://www.reprieve.org.uk/

http://amnesty.org.uk/

http://www.infowars.com/

With thanks to Clive Stafford Smith & the team at Reprieve…….

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2 Responses to “An Unhappy Anniversary – 10 Years of Unlawful Detention……”

  1. kyrani99 January 12, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    What you describe is surely horrid and like you I believe that we need to follow our conscience and speak up about what we discover and inform others around us. What you describe however it is not even the half of it. There is terror going on in all nations of the world and we in the West are by no means exempt. The terror that I speak of is not obvious as that seen at Guantanamo Bay and indeed in all the other areas as you describe, Syria etc. There are shocking human (and animal) rights abuses being carried out daily in the hundreds of millions worldwide, but the damage is being defined away as to make it all sound acceptable and even normal. And what is worse people that we are lead to believe we can trust with our lives are in my opinion, protect the offenders. I invite you to read my blogs here http://kyrani99.wordpress.com/ and see how bad the horrors can really be for each and everyone sooner or later!

  2. WordsFallFromMyEyes January 13, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

    This should be read very widely. I saw the news only today of the US army pissing on corpses. I’m just too deeply saddened to say anything more. It feels sad, deeply sad, to know these things are going on. I feel strongly Amnesty International is a worthwhile cause.

    Good on you for putting this out there.

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