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Argument: Guantanamo detainees have been subjected to human rights abuses

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Supporting evidence

Karen J. Greenberg. "8 Reasons to Close Guantnamo Now". In These Times. February 12, 2007 - "#3 Prisoners are degraded and abused Abusive treatment of Guantánamo detainees has been documented in lawyers’ notes, FBI memos, statements from released detainees and court affidavits submitted by attorneys representing detainees.

Jumah Al Dossari, a Bahraini detainee who has been incarcerated at Gitmo for five years, wrote to his lawyer, “At Guantánamo, soldiers have assaulted me, placed me in solitary confinement, threatened to kill me, threatened to kill my daughter, and told me I will stay in Cuba for the rest of my life. They have deprived me of sleep, forced me to listen to extremely loud music and shined intense lights in my face. They have placed me in cold rooms for hours without food, drink or the ability to go to the bathroom or wash for prayers. They have wrapped me in the Israeli flag and told me there is a holy war between the Cross and the Star of David on the one hand and the Crescent on the other. They have beaten me unconscious.”

All of what he describes is illegal for the 194 countries that have ratified the Geneva Conventions—of which the United States is one—as well as those that have ratified the Convention Against Torture (which the United States has signed, with reservations)."


Information for the book "THE GUANTANAMO FILES" shows human rights breaches and improper conditions at "Gitmo". Held without charge, without trial, and without any way of knowing when, if ever, they will be released, the detainees are cut off from their families, are mostly held for 23 hours a day in solitary confinement, and are not even granted the meagre pleasures that are enjoyed by the most hardened convicted criminals on the US mainland. It’s also known that some prisoners have been held in solitary confinement for several years, and that dozens of long-term hunger strikers continue to be force-fed twice daily in a brutal manner. Held in restraint chairs, using 18 separate straps, they are fed through a thick tube inserted into the stomach through the nose, which is removed after each feeding in a deliberate attempt to “break” their will.


Lucile Malandain. "End to the House of Horrors". The Advertiser. January 24, 2009 - BEATEN, humiliated, chained and dumped in tiny, dark solitary cells, prisoners released from Guantanamo Bay say their time in such hellish conditions will haunt them for years.

``Nobody can imagine how horrible it was. Even the devil couldn't have created such a bad, bad place, Mustafa Ait Idir said last month.

He was freed from the U.S. military base in southern Cuba after seven years of incarceration.

``I was questioned and beaten more than 500 times during those seven years, he alleged.

``The guards used to come in groups of six or seven, always using a spray against us first, and then the beatings would start.

The Algerian-born computer technician was speaking from his adopted home in Sarajevo, Bosnia, after being released from the remote jail on the orders of a U.S. federal judge after no charges were ever brought against him.

The prisoners, rounded up in the U.S. ``war on terror launched by then President George W. Bush in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, were initially denied any contact with the outside world. For nearly three years they saw no-one other than their guards.

It was not until late 2003 that the first advocates were allowed to visit their clients.


"Nine years in hell: tortured by al-Qaeda, entombed by America at Guantánamo; Cuba". The Times Online. January 16, 2009 - Exactly seven years ago this week in Kandahar, southern Afghanistan, a 26-year-old Syrian Kurd who had spent the previous two years being tortured by the Taleban begged me to get the newly arrived US troops in the city to help him.

The Americans did come - and sent Abdul Rahim Abdul Razzak al- Ginco to Guantánamo Bay. Today he is still imprisoned there. He claims that after being taken into US custody he was subjected to stress positions, sleep deprivation and threatened with dogs. He arrived in April 2002 and haS s never been charged.

Mr al-Ginco is on medication for severe mental health disorders. Through his lawyers he gave his account of what had happened to him since we last met, an account of what the War on Terror has meant for him.


"Gitmo prisoners deserve dignity". Washington Times. October 15, 2007 - Mr. Guter later testified that, "As we limit the rights of human beings, even those of the enemy, we become more like the enemy." But a strong opponent of habeas rights for the detainees, Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican, a contender for the presidency, scorns the notion that those prisoners are being abused: "Those guys get taxpayer-paid-for prayer rugs, have prayer five times a day (and) they've all gained weight." Mr. Hunter, whose forthrightness I've admired on other occasions, said nothing of the repeated hunger strikes, between prayers on taxpayer-paid-for rugs, and attempted suicides, some of them successful. Nor did he comment on a Sept. 7 letter in the internationally respected British medical journal, "The Lancet." The 260 signers, nearly all of them doctors from 16 countries, charged, as reported by the Associated Press, that "The U.S. medical establishment appears to have turned a blind eye to the abuse of military medicine at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba." And the letter compared the ongoing roles of U.S. doctors working at Guantanamo, who have been accused of ignoring torture, to the South African doctors in the case of (celebrated) anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko, who died while being detained by the security police.

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