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Guantanamo Bay

    November 01, 2017

    Amnesty International USA Release

     

    NEW YORK— After President Trump said he would consider sending the man accused of yesterday’s attack in New York City, Sayfullo Saipov, to Guantánamo, Amnesty International USA Security with Human Rights Director, Daphne Eviatar, issued the following statement:

    “It would be a grave mistake to send Sayfullo Saipov to Guantánamo. He’s a criminal suspect and should be treated as such by the U.S. justice system. Guantánamo has become an international symbol of torture, rendition and indefinite detention without charge or trial – it must be closed, not expanded.”

    This statement can be found online at: https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/25018/

    August 18, 2017

    By Aubrey Harris, Amnesty Canada's Coordinator for the Abolition of the Death Penalty. Follow Aubrey on Twitter @AmnestyCanadaDP

    The fact that torture occurred in Guantanamo Bay is not news. Not only did former president Barack Obama state it bluntly as “we tortured some people,” even former vice-president Dick Cheney implied it in his “dark side” quote justifying some forms of torture. International law, however, is explicit in it. The International Convention Against Torture makes clear that any statement extracted as the product of torture cannot be used except as proof that the torture occurred.

    Efforts to present the public perception of torture as “acceptable” exist not only in the tough-guy films of Clint Eastwood and Quentin Tarantino, but most explicitly in the propaganda film “Zero Dark Thirty.” For the first 25 minutes of the film, a man is portrayed being tortured by operatives at CIA black sites in order to obtain information to find Osama bin Laden.

    January 10, 2017

    10 January 2017 AI Index: AMR 51/5441/2017

    On 1 January 2017, the USA took a three-year seat on the UN Human Rights Council, after being voted onto this key UN human rights body by the General Assembly late last year. In its election “manifesto” in support of its candidacy, the USA promised to champion the rights contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to abide by its human rights treaty obligations, and to engage meaningfully with UN treaty monitoring bodies.

    Ten days later – 11 January 2017 – sees the 15th anniversary of detentions at the US naval base at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba, detentions that are entirely antithetical to the Universal Declaration, and indeed the USA’s human rights obligations, and the recommendations of UN treaty monitoring bodies of those obligations. However, when it comes to its human rights obligations, the USA all too often takes a pick and choose approach, and at Guantánamo it chose to ignore them from the outset.

    October 30, 2015

    Amnesty International UK RELEASE

    Fresh call for judge-led inquiry into wider UK torture allegations

    Amnesty International has welcomed reports that the former UK resident Shaker Aamer is set to be returned to the UK imminently after his long-delayed release from the US military base at Guantánamo.

    Aamer, 46, who is the last of the UK nationals and residents held at the notorious detention centre, is being returned to Britain without ever being charged or put on trial during his 13-and-a-half-year incarceration at Guantánamo.

    February 09, 2015

    Today’s abrupt halt of the US military court hearing of five alleged plotters of the 11 September 2001 attacks is just the latest in a string of serious incidents that have marked the inherently unfair military commission process at Guantánamo Bay, Amnesty International said.

    Minutes after the hearing began, the military judge called a recess after one of the defendants, Yemeni national Ramzi bin al-Shibh, told the court he had previously seen a court-appointed interpreter in CIA black sites where detainees had been tortured.

    "If these allegations are true, then the interpreter's presence alongside the former black site detainees is deeply unsettling. The defence teams should be able to interview him as a likely witness to torture and enforceddisappearance,” said Anne FitzGerald, Director of the Research and Crisis Response Programme at Amnesty International, who was present in the courtroom in Guantánamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba.

    January 09, 2015

    We will never stop speaking out for the human rights of all individuals at home and abroad. It is part of who we are as a people and what we stand for as a Nation
    President Barack Obama, 9 December 2014.

    Thirteen months of detentions at Guantánamo was already far too long. By then, February 2003, the Secretary of Defense had authorized interrogation techniques that violated the international ban on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

    Thirteen years is a human rights outrage. Detainees held for year after year without charge or trial. Torture and other ill-treatment, enforced disappearance, arbitrary detention, excessive force, force feeding, a handful of prosecutions under a  military commission system that does not meet international fair trial standards.

    There were 245 detainees still held at the base at the end of President President Barack Obama committed his administration to closing the Guantánamo detention facility “promptly” and at the latest by 22 January 2010.

    October 28, 2014

    By Omar Khadr, former Guatanamo Bay detainee

    Ten years ago the Canadian government established a judicial inquiry into the case of Maher Arar. That inquiry, over the course of more than two years of ground-breaking work, examined how Canada’s post-Sept. 11 security practices led to serious human rights violations, including torture.

    At that same time, 10 years ago and far away from a Canadian hearing room, I was mired in a nightmare of injustice, insidiously linked to national security. I have not yet escaped from that nightmare.

    As Canada once again grapples with concerns about terrorism, my experience stands as a cautionary reminder. Security laws and practices that are excessive, misguided or tainted by prejudice can have a devastating human toll.

    A conference Wednesday in Ottawa, convened by Amnesty International, the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group and the University of Ottawa, will reflect on these past 10 years of national security and human rights. I will be watching, hoping that an avenue opens to leave my decade of injustice behind.

    January 19, 2014

    Posted at 0001 GMT 20 January 2014

    The continued operation of the US detention camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, is a prime example of the USA’s double standard on human rights, Amnesty International said today, almost five years after President Barack Obama signed an executive order to close the facility.

    "On 22 January 2009, ordering the closure of Guantánamo within a year was among President Obama’s first official decisions after he came to office,” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Director of Amnesty International's Americas Program.

    “Five years later, this promise of change has become a human rights failure that threatens to haunt President Obama’s legacy, just as it has his predecessor’s."

    Twelve years after the first detainees were brought to Guantánamo, strapped down in planes like cargo, more than 150 men are still held there. Most of them are held without charge or trial.

    May 07, 2013

    “Given the uncertainty and anxieties surrounding their prolonged and apparently indefinite detention in Guantánamo, it is scarcely surprising that people’s frustrations boil over and they resort to such desperate measures.”  High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on the latest Guantánamo hunger strikes

    April 22, 2013

    The US authorities must urgently end indefinite detention at Guantánamo Bay, Amnesty International said today after it was confirmed that more than half the detainees are now on hunger strike.

    As of 21 April, 84 of the 166 detainees held at the US naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, were recognized by the military authorities as being on hunger strike.

    Detainees began their protest in early February, in reaction to what they said were abusive cell searches and deteriorating conditions.

    The military authorities have rejected the claims, but have acknowledged a sense of despair among detainees because they think the US administration has abandoned its efforts to close the detention facility.  

    “The current situation in Guantánamo serves as another reminder of the abject failure of the USA to resolve these detentions,” said Rob Freer, USA researcher at Amnesty International.

    January 07, 2013

    Guantánamo: In his second term Obama must correct human rights failure

    President Barack Obama must revisit the promise he made in 2009 to close the Guantánamo detention facility and this time commit the USA to releasing the detainees or bringing them to fair trial, Amnesty International said ahead of the 11th anniversary of the first detainee transfers to the US naval base in Cuba and just days before his re-inauguration as president.

    Today 166 detainees are still held at Guantánamo – out of the 779 men taken to the facility since 2002, the vast majority were held for years without charge or criminal trial.

    Seven men have been convicted by military commission, including five as a result of pre-trial agreements under which they pled guilty in return for the possibility of release from the base.

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