Guantanamo Bay

rynner2

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#1
Strangely, we don't seem to have a current thread on this topic (although the subject has been alluded to many times elsewhere), hence this new one:
Cabinet minister calls for closure of Guantanamo
By Frances Gibb, Legal Editor

PETER HAIN became the first Cabinet minister explicitly to call for the closure of Guantanamo Bay last night. Hours earlier three Britons detained at the US prison on Cuba were given the go-ahead by the High Court to begin legal moves to seek their freedom.

Under the ruling the three detainees, Bisher al-Rawi, Jamil el-Banna, Omar Deghayes and members of their families living in Britain, can seek a court order requiring Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, to press the Americans for their release.

The case could be heard as early as next week after yesterday’s ruling by Mr Justice Collins.

During the hearing the judge remarked that the United States’ idea of what constitutes torture “is not the same as ours and doesn’t appear to coincide with that of most civilised countries”.

He added that he had heard on BBC Radio’s Today programme about a UN committee report recommending that the Guantanamo detention facility should be closed because torture was still taking place there.

The report, which was ordered by the UN Commission on Human Rights, called on the US Government to refrain from any practice “amounting to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” at Guantanamo.

It said that all detainees should be brought to trial or released “without further delay” and the facility closed.

Mr Hain, the Northern Ireland Secretary, said on Question Time, on BBC1 last night that he would prefer that the camp were closed down.

When asked if this was government policy he said: “That’s what I think.” Asked if the Prime Mininster agreed, he replied: “I think so, yes. We’ve always said that Guantanamo Bay was something that shouldn’t have happened.”

William Hague, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, used a speech in the United States yesterday to say that the country’s loss of international goodwill through the existence of Guantanamo and pictures of Iraqi detainees being abused, could eventually prove as costly as the “sharpest of military defeats”.

In the High Court yesterday Rabinder Singh, QC, for the three detainees, said that Britain and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, would “undoubtedly condemn” many of the practices at Guantanamo Bay.

He said that the detainees’ case arose out of what had been described by a law lord as the “utter lawlessness at Guantanamo Bay”, where people were being detained indefinitely without trial.

He added that the question was how the courts of this country should respond to that lawlessness.
Nine British nationals who were detained there have been flown back and released without charge. The three detainees in yesterday’s case are long-term residents of Britain but not citizens.



Mr al-Rawi, 37, an Iraqi who had lived in Britain since 1985, and Mr al-Banna, his Jordanian business partner, who was granted refugee status in 2000, were detained three years ago in The Gambia — “far from any theatre of war”, Mr Singh said. They were alleged to have been associated with al-Qaeda through their connection with the radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada.

But counsel said that Mr al-Rawi’s contact with Abu Qatada was “expressly approved and encouraged by British intelligence”, to whom he supplied information about the cleric.

Intelligence operatives had told Mr al-Rawi that, should he run into trouble, they would intervene and assist him, counsel said.


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0, ... 12,00.html
At long last this weaselly government of ours is beginning to pull its nose out of Dubya's arse and stand up for civilised values.
 

crunchy5

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#2
Lets hope this is the first sign of sanity breaking out in the "elite", I'm sure that word wasn't used so much when I was a lad and then often as a negative word in this context. Even if this view isn't held by Bliar it is good sign of his power slipping. :D
 

rynner2

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#4
Kondoru said:
why Cuba?
Because it's outside of the jurisdiction of American law, which, despite recent setbacks, still tries to uphold the rules of common sense and human decency.

That's why the place is so despicable, and contrary to everything the US and the west used to stand for.

The US is shooting itself in the foot with this stupid, illegal and cruel institution, because it alienates itself from the rest of the civilized world, as well as antagonising even further those who are opposed to the US for various reasons.
 

Kondoru

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#5
but its a place that has had such a stellar relationship with the US.

As one of my friends called it `the 50 year snit fest`
 

rynner2

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#6
Everyone's jumping on the band wagon now:
Tutu calls for Guantanamo closure

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has joined in the growing chorus of condemnation of America's Guantanamo Bay prison camp.
He said the detention camp was a stain on the character of the United States as a superpower and a democracy.

He also attacked Britain's 28-day detention period for terror suspects, calling it excessive and untenable.

His comments follow a UN report calling for the closure of the camp where some 500 "enemy combatants" have been held without trial for up to four years.

Speaking on the BBC's Today programme, Archbishop Tutu said he was alarmed that arguments used by the South African apartheid regime are now being used to justify anti-terror measures.

"It is disgraceful and one cannot find strong enough words to condemn what Britain and the United States and some of their allies have accepted," he said.

The respected clergyman said the rule of law had been "subverted horrendously" and he described the muted public outcry - particularly in America - as "saddening".

Archbishop Tutu also attacked Tony Blair's failed attempt to hold terrorist suspects in Britain for up to 90 days without charge.

"Ninety days for a South African is an awful deja-vu because we had in South Africa in the bad old days a 90-day detention law," he said.

Under apartheid, as at Guantanamo, people were held for "unconscionably long periods" and then released, he said.

"Are you able to restore to those people the time when their freedom was denied them? If you have evidence for goodness sake produce it in a court of law," he said.

"People with power have an incredible capacity for wanting to be able to retain that power and don't like scrutiny."

International pressure

Archbishop Tutu's comments add to the mounting international pressure on US President Bush to close the detention centre at Guantanamo Bay.

The UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, said on Thursday that America must close the camp "as soon as is possible".

GUANTANAMO TIMELINE
Jan 2002: First "illegal combatants" arrive at Camp X-ray. Transferred to Camp Delta in April
Feb 2002: More than 100 out of nearly 600 detainees stage first of many hunger strikes
Oct 2002: First releases include four men returned to Afghanistan and Pakistan
Feb 2004: US officials announce the first charges against two detainees
Mar-May 2004: Dozens of detainees released
July 2004: First military tribunal
Jan 2005: US announces investigation into allegations of abuse
May 2005: US magazine report - later retracted - alleges copies of the Koran mishandled by guards, sparking worldwide protests. US later confirms five cases of mishandling


Guantanamo in spotlight

His comments backed a UN report recommending that the US try the approximately 500 inmates, or free them "without further delay".

A senior British minister has also called for the camp to be closed.

Speaking on the BBC television Question Time programme on Thursday, Peter Hain said he would prefer to see Guantanamo Bay close.

He also indicated that the UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, agreed with him.

The US has dismissed most of the findings of the UN report which include allegations of torture.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan on Thursday rejected the call to close the camp, saying the military treated all detainees humanely.

"These are dangerous terrorists that we're talking about," he said.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4723512.stm
Perhaps we should start a poll on when it will be closed, ranging from next week to never... 8)
 

byroncac

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#7
Kondru

Guantanamo Bay is a pre-Castro US military base that they hung onto when Castro came to power. As a military base in a hostile host country its own legality is questionable and so as rynner points out it remains outside the jurisdiction of American civil law.
 

rynner2

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#8
Diplomats call for closure of base at Guantanamo
By Brendan Carlin and Harry Mount
(Filed: 20/02/2006)

The Government's official line on the Guantanamo Bay detention camp was mired in confusion yesterday as ministers and diplomats contradicted each other on whether it should close.

Disagreements inside the Cabinet emerged last week when Peter Hain, the Northern Ireland Secretary, said the base should close although Tony Blair would only say it was "an anomaly".

Yesterday, John Reid, the Defence Secretary, signalled that it was not up to Britain to tell the US how to respond to terrorist attacks on its soil.

"The Americans lost several thousand people. I'm not going to tell the Americans how to deal with the response to international terrorism," Mr Reid told BBC1's Sunday AM programme.

But the British, French and German ambassadors to Washington added their voices to the growing condemnation of the camp after a UN human rights report called for it to close.

Sir David Manning, the British ambassador, said yesterday in a joint appearance by the three envoys on CNN: "We understand the context - you've lost a lot of people.

"It is difficult to find the right line to draw but it is clearly an anomaly and it needs to be dealt with."

The French ambassador, Jean-David Levitte, went further in his condemnation, saying: "Guantanamo is an embarrassment, and so it has to be solved one way or the other. It's necessary to have the people in Guantanamo get a fair trial."

Mr Reid's comments came ahead of a speech today in which he will plead for understanding of the challenges now faced by British troops by saying that Al-Qa'eda poses an even greater evil than the Nazis in the Second World War.

The plea, along with a warning that British troops feel constrained by human rights laws, follows the discovery last week of a video showing British troops in southern Iraq beating unarmed demonstrators.

But Mr Hain responded by insisting that the Cabinet was united on Guantanamo even as he repeated that the base should be shut down.

The Government's position was that "we don't believe that Guantanamo should have been there. We wished it weren't. The consequences of that is we think that it should be closed down."

The Conservatives, who indicated last week that America's perceived treatment of detainees was backfiring, seized on the confusion. George Osborne, the shadow chancellor who last week was part of a Tory delegation to Washington DC, called for the detention base to be shut down.

Mr Osborne told BBC1's Politics Show that his personal view was that "it should be closed sooner rather than later." He added: "I think there are few people in the world who would not say that Guantanamo Bay has undermined the moral authority of what we're trying to do."

In his speech today at King's College, London, Mr Reid will urge people to be "slow to condemn" British forces serving in difficult conditions abroad.

The Defence Secretary will plead for understanding by saying British soldiers today face an unprecedented enemy. The "unconstrained terrorist" was "an enemy unrecognisable from the past" and an adversary who was "unfettered by any sense of morality".

Never before had Britain faced such an enemy, claimed Mr Reid, who yesterday indicated that Britain had to commit about 3,000 troops to Afghanistan as the greater danger was not to send in more forces.
Telegraph
 

rynner2

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#9
Doctors attack US over Guantanamo


More than 250 medical experts have signed a letter condemning the US for force-feeding prisoners on hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The experts, from seven nations, said physicians at the prison had to respect inmates' right to refuse treatment.

The letter, in the medical journal The Lancet said doctors who used restraints and force-feeding should be punished by their professional bodies.

Some 500 terror suspects are being held without trial at Guantanamo Bay.

The US has argued that the Geneva Convention does not apply to prisoners at the camp, who, it says, are enemy combatants who continue to pose a threat to national security.

Human rights groups and the UN have urged the US to close down the facility.

Amnesty International said the "troubling" accusations in the doctors' letter underlined the need for the "independent medical examination of the prisoners".

'Different person'

The open letter in the Lancet was signed by more than 250 top doctors from seven countries - the UK, the US, Ireland, Germany, Australia, Italy and the Netherlands.

"We urge the US government to ensure that detainees are assessed by independent physicians and that techniques such as force-feeding and restraint chairs are abandoned," the letter said.


The doctors said the World Medical Association - a world body representing physicians, including those in the US - specifically prohibited force-feeding.

They said the American Medical Association, a member of the world group, should instigate disciplinary proceedings against any members known to have violated the code.

Detainees at the camp have said hunger-strikers were strapped into chairs and force-fed through tubes inserted in their noses.

Former inmate Mundah Habib told the BBC he stopped eating because drugs were put in his food. "As soon as I had the food I found I was a different person," he said.

He said the hunger strike was the only way to "send a message to the public outside to know what's going on".

More than 80 inmates are said to have gone on hunger strike in December last year - a figure that has now reportedly dropped to four.

Torture definition

Dr David Nicholl, a UK neurologist who initiated the Lancet letter, told the BBC's World Today programme that US doctors going to Guantanamo Bay were being screened to ensure they agreed with the policy of force-feeding.

"In effect they are screened to make sure they don't have doctors with a conscience."

He said that "horrible as it may sound" it was a doctor's duty to conform to the wishes of hunger strikers, even if it led to their deaths.

Dr Nicholl said the letter's signatories felt there was not enough publicity about the matter in the US media and that Americans needed to be challenged.

He said the definition of torture issued at the camp in 2002 as actions that caused only "death or major organ failure" was "not a definition anyone on the planet is using"
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4790742.stm
 

Jerry_B

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#10
The film 'The Road to Guantanamo' that was on C4 last night was quite an eye-opener. If the way the interrogations were portayed is based in truth, it veered all too often into farce. If the base is just an area where various paranoias are desperately trying to be stuck onto the captives, it seems almost as if the whole system is geared to deceive itself.
 

crunchy5

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#11
This adds an even sadder perspective to the whole issue, it shows the caliber of the inmates.

http://infowars.net/articles/march2006/ ... orists.htm

A bit of an aside I know but for years I've thought how real was the Cuban missile crisis when one of the biggest US bases outside of the US was on Cuba and had huge military strength with planes ships and troops a plenty. Surely they could've walked out an done what ever they wanted rather than take the world to the brink. :?
 

Jerry_B

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#12
The Crisis was more brinkmanship than anything else, sparked off by Kennedy placing nuclear weapons in Turkey. This being the old Soviet Union's doorstep, Kruschev tried to match like for like, by attempting to place nuclear weapons on America's doorstep. It's still difficult to tell if the whole episode hasn't been exaggerated over time, and at the time also.

Anyway, sorry to go OT...
 
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#13
I watched the tv show and found it quite believable esp. in terms of their treatment.

A while back I took part in an art project in manchester where they built a mock up of camp x-ray, we got jumpsuits, handcuffs, shackles, blacked out goggles, sack on the head and part of it was kneeling in stress positions. Trust me fellas it is painful.
 

rynner2

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#14
UK 'to act' over Guantanamo man

Representations will be made to US authorities over a UK resident held at Guantanamo Bay, a QC acting for the government has told the High Court.
Christopher Greenwood QC said facts in Bisher al-Rawi's case made the foreign secretary decide on "a specific, security-related request" to the US.

Mr al-Rawi, Jamil el-Banna and Omar Deghayes have asked the court to force Jack Straw to press for their release.

The judges are expected to give their decision in the next couple of weeks.

They reserved their judgement after the two-day hearing.

The government has always maintained that it cannot help the men as they are not British nationals. The three men are believed to be among at least five UK residents still held at the US-run detention camp in Cuba.

The case of Mr al-Rawi, an Iraqi-born businessman who has lived in the UK since 1985, had been "reconsidered separately" by Mr Straw, the QC told the court.

Lawyers for Mr Al-Rawi have argued that he helped British intelligence.

He said the facts in his case, which could not be gone into in open court, had led Mr Straw to conclude representations should be made on his behalf to the US government.

Mr Greenwood told the court the actual form which the intervention would take had not yet been decided.

The QC told Lord Justice Latham and Mr Justice Tugendhat at the London court there were currently no plans to make "general requests" on behalf of Mr el-Banna and Mr Deghayes.

'Security related'

"To put it succinctly and candidly, the likely reaction to a security-related request may be different from the reaction to a general request," he said.

In documents previously submitted to the court, Mr al-Rawi and Mr el-Banna were alleged to have connections with al-Qaeda through radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada.

However, lawyers for Mr al-Rawi have consistently argued he had contact with Qatada "expressly approved and encouraged by British intelligence".

Mr al-Rawi maintains intelligence staff had told him they would help him if he ever ran into trouble.

Lawyer Timothy Otty, appearing for all three men, told the court on Wednesday that documents established "communications" between British and US security services relating to Mr al-Rawi and Mr el-Banna before their arrests.

Mr Otty said: "We will certainly be contending there has been real injustice, and there is a causal link on the part of those acting for the UK in that injustice."

Amnesty says Mr al-Rawi and his friend Mr el-Banna, a Jordanian refugee who had been living in London, were arrested in November 2002 at Banjul airport, during a business trip to Gambia, on suspicion of having links to terrorism.

Libyan-born Mr Deghayes, 36, of Brighton, has been held at Guantanamo for three years and was on a hunger strike, Mr Otty said.

He was arrested in Pakistan and accused of committing terrorist acts against the US, but his lawyers claim it is a case of mistaken identity.

Mr Deghayes fled Libya for Britain in the 1980s after his father was assassinated. He was granted refugee status in the UK, where he was educated and applied for British citizenship.

Mr Otty had also told the court there was "compelling evidence" the three men had been "severely tortured" at Guantanamo and were at "real risk" of further ill treatment.

Mr Greenwood told the judges on Wednesday the government was "attaching considerable weight" to the US denial that torture or inhuman treatment had taken place at Guantanamo Bay.

The government would "certainly not accept that there was compelling evidence that the men have been tortured", he added.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4838470.stm
 

rynner2

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#15
British hacker 'fears Guantanamo'

A British man accused of being behind the largest ever hack of US government computer networks could end up at Guantanamo Bay, his lawyer has claimed.
Gary McKinnon, from London, denies causing $700,000 (£400,000) damage to military and Nasa systems in 2001-2.

Bow Street Magistrates' Court was told the 40-year-old feared a prosecution might take place under US anti-terror laws if it agreed to his extradition.

The US said Mr McKinnon had assurances he would be tried in a federal court.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4905036.stm
 
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#16
Rumsfeld: mad, bad and dangerous to know. It's official.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,1754348,00.html

Army report on al-Qaida accuses Rumsfeld

Julian Borger in Washington
Saturday April 15, 2006
The Guardian


Donald Rumsfeld was directly linked to prisoner abuse for the first time yesterday, when it emerged he had been "personally involved" in a Guantánamo Bay interrogation found by military investigators to have been "degrading and abusive".

Human Rights Watch last night called for a special prosecutor to be appointed to investigate whether the defence secretary could be criminally liable for the treatment of Mohamed al-Qahtani, a Saudi al-Qaida suspect forced to wear women's underwear, stand naked in front of a woman interrogator, and to perform "dog tricks" on a leash, in late 2002 and early 2003. The US rights group said it had obtained a copy of the interrogation log, which showed he was also subjected to sleep deprivation and forced to maintain "stress" positions; it concluded that the treatment "amounted to torture".

However, military investigators decided the interrogation did not amount to torture but was "abusive and degrading". Those conclusions were made public last year but this is the first time Mr Rumsfeld's own involvement has emerged.

According to a December report by the army inspector general, obtained by Salon.com online magazine, the investigators did not accuse the defence secretary of specifically prescribing "creative" techniques, but they said he regularly monitored the progress of the al-Kahtani interrogation by telephone, and they argued he had helped create the conditions that allowed abuse to take place.

"Where is the throttle on this stuff?" asked Lt Gen Schmidt, an air force officer who said in sworn testimony to the inspector general that he had concerns about the duration and repetition of harsh interrogation techniques. He said that in his view: "There were no limits."

The revelation comes at a critical time for Mr Rumsfeld. He is under unprecedented scrutiny for his management of the Iraq war, after six former generals in quick succession called for his resignation.

The questions reached such a pitch by the end of the week that George Bush took the unusual step of issuing a personal note from Camp David in Mr Rumsfeld's defence. "I have seen first-hand how Don relies upon our military commanders in the field and at the Pentagon to make decisions about how best to complete these missions," the president wrote. "Secretary Rumsfeld's energetic and steady leadership is exactly what is needed at this critical period. He has my full support and deepest appreciation."

And, responding to the generals, Mr Rumsfeld said in an al-Arabiya TV interview yesterday: "If every time two or three people disagreed we changed the secretary of defence, it would be like a merry-go-round." However, in the wake of the inspector general's report, Human Rights Watch said: "The question at this point is not whether secretary Rumsfeld should resign, it's whether he should be indicted. General Schmidt's sworn statement suggests Rumsfeld may have been perfectly aware of the abuses inflicted on Mr al-Qahtani."

The Pentagon also issued a statement in response to publication of the report. A spokeswoman said: "We've gone over this countless times, and yet some still choose to print fiction versus fact. Twelve reviews, to include one done by an independent panel, all confirm the department of defence did not have a policy that encouraged or condoned abuse. To suggest otherwise is simply false."

So far, only junior US officers have been charged and convicted for a string of prisoner abuse scandals since the Bush administration launched its "global war on terror", but rights activists have accused the administration of opening the way for the use of torture in 2002 by relaxing the constraints of the Geneva conventions.

Gen Bantz Craddock, head of Southern Command, overruled the investigators' recommendation that Maj Gen Geoffrey Miller, who ran the Guantánamo camp in 2002, be admonished for the techniques employed. Gen Miller was transferred to Abu Ghraib prison, and took with him his aggressive approach to interrogations.

The investigators found Mr Rumsfeld was "talking weekly" with Gen Miller about the al-Qahtani interrogation. In December 2002, the defence secretary approved 16 harsh interrogation techniques for use on Mr al-Qahtani, including forced nudity, and "stress positions". However approval was revoked in 2003.

Gen Miller insisted he was unaware of details of the interrogation, but Gen Schmidt said he found that"hard to believe" in view of Mr Rumsfeld's evident interest in its progress. Gen James Hill, former head of Southern Command, recalled Gen Miller recommending continuation of the interrogation, saying "We think we're right on the verge of making a breakthrough." Gen Hill then passed on the request to Mr Rumsfeld. "The secretary said, 'Fine,'" Gen Hill remembered.

Backstory

The US defence secretary has faced many calls to resign over Guantánamo, the invasion of Iraq and abuses at Abu Ghraib prison - but the pressure he faces now comes from a weighty new quarter: six generals recently retired from the military he runs.

Retired general Paul Eaton, who was in charge of training Iraqi security forces, sparked the current round of condemnation in a New York Times article on March 19. On April 2, Anthony Zinni told a TV interviewer the US was "paying the price for the lack of credible planning" in Iraq. Seven days later, Lt Gen Gregory Newbold, a former member of the joint chiefs of staff, tore into the administration's "casualness and swagger... the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions".

On Wednesday, John Batiste, a former infantry commander, added his voice, and on Thursday his colleague John Riggs concurred. Charles Swannack, who commanded the 82nd Airborne Division in Iraq, brought the total to six yesterday, telling the New York Times Mr Rumsfeld had demonstrated "absolute failures in managing the war against Saddam".

Mr Rumsfeld is understood to have offered to resign at least twice while in charge at the Pentagon, but both times President George Bush turned him down.
 

cartoony3

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#17
Lets not forget that the torment started before they reached the camp. People were put on a military plane, drugged to keep them quiet, flown out of the country; and to add insult to injury Bush labelled them as "terrorists" on t.v. before they'd even been questioned.
 

techybloke666

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#18
Two British residents have today lost their appeal to force the government to help secure their freedom from the Guantanamo Bay detention centre.

Jamil el-Banna and Omar Deghayes are not British citizens but want the Foreign Office to petition the US government for their release from the Cuba camp.

But they have today lost their high court appeal to force the government's hand, despite Lord Justice Latham and Mr Justice Tugendhat admitting their decision might be 'uncomfortable and unsatisfactory'.

Lawyers for the two men, who are being held in Guantanamo without trial alongside many other suspected terrorists, claim that the prisoners are being 'severely tortured and suffered inhuman and degrading treatment'.

But the judges ruled that the British government cannot be ordered to 'make a formal request' for the detainees' release.

'That would be an interference in the relationship between sovereign states which could only be justified if a clear duty in domestic or international law had been identified... there is no such duty in the present case,' Lord Justice Latham and Mr Justice Tugendhat said in a joint statement.

Mr el-Banna was arrested in November 2002 in Gambia on suspicion of having links to terrorism, while Mr Deghayes, a Libyan refugee based in Brighton, was arrested in Pakistan on suspicion of terrorism and has been held at Guantanamo for three years.

Another detainee, Bisher al-Rawi, was also due to have his appeal heard today, but his case is being specifically looked into by foreign secretary Jack Straw after he submitted a 'fact-specific claim'.

The Iraqi-born businessman has lived in the UK since 1985 and was arrested at the same time as Mr el-Banna, a Jordanian refugee.
http://news.monstersandcritics.com/uk/a ... court_case

Civil rights !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Nah you can kiss those goodbye

No charges for three years, wrongful imprisonment and torture

All it needs is some cycloneB and were back to Nazi Germany again
What is this world coming too ????????????????

get a good nights sleep folk nothing to dream about here.

one sheep
two sheep
three sheeple ooooops
 

rynner2

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#20
The worm turns (at last)?
UK calls for Guantanamo closure

The Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, has called for the closure of the US detention camp at Guantanamo Bay.
He is reported to have serious doubts about whether the indefinite detention of "enemy combatants" is legal or fair.

In a speech in London, he said the camp had become a symbol of injustice and its existence was "unacceptable".

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the US did not want to release people who might "end up on the battlefield" or commit terrorist acts.

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has called the camp in Cuba an "anomaly".

But in the strongest worded condemnation yet from a British government minister, Lord Goldsmith said: "The existence of Guantanamo remains unacceptable.

"It is time, in my view, that it should close. Not only would it, in my personal opinion, be right to close Guantanamo as a matter of principle, I believe it would also help to remove what has become a symbol to many - right or wrong - of injustice.

"The historic tradition of the United States as a beacon of freedom, liberty and of justice deserves the removal of this symbol."


Around 490 detainees are in Guantanamo Bay, which opened in January 2002.

There has been international criticism of conditions at the US camp and the length of time detainees have been held there without trial.

Rights groups have said the detainees, held on suspicion of involvement in terrorism, are mistreated through cruel interrogation methods - a charge the US denies.

Fair trial

Lord Goldsmith told the Royal United Services Institute there was a case for limiting some rights for collective security.

But he said the right to a fair trial should never be compromised.

Nine British nationals at Guantanamo were returned to the UK in 2004 and 2005 after government intervention.

Lord Goldsmith said the UK was "unable to accept that the US military tribunals proposed for those detained at Guantanamo Bay offered sufficient guarantees of a fair trial in accordance with international standards".

He went on to defend the European Convention on Human Rights and the UK's Human Rights Act.

"Fundamental rights must be protected if we are to preserve our democracies but given the current threat to our national security we have to be flexible about how we achieve this," he said.

'Right balance'

Despite recent legal challenges to control orders, Lord Goldsmith contended that the protection of the public from the risk of terrorism "by means of civil orders and the use of secret intelligence to make out the case is untouched".

And he said deportation agreements with countries with a record of human rights abuses meant to guarantee a returnee's safety were a way of achieving the "right balance between collective security and fundamental liberties".

Lord Goldsmith also defended the creation of new criminal offences in the Terrorism Act 2006 to counter "some features of al-Qaeda type terrorism which distinguish it from other forms of crime".

"Where we depart from traditional ways of guaranteeing civil liberties we should be clear that our actions are proportionate to the threat and needed to meet it," he said.

Echoing the words of US President George W Bush - who in a TV interview on Sunday said he would like to "end" the detention centre - spokesman Mr McCormack said the US would "like nothing better than at some point in the future to close down Guantanamo".

"Nobody wants to be a jailer for the world," he added, saying "many detainees" had moved back to their countries of origin.

"But the fact of the matter is that the people there are dangerous people.

"One thing we don't want to do is release people now who might at some point in the future end up on the battlefield facing our troops or somebody else's troops, or committing acts of terrorism against civilians."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4759317.stm
 

rynner2

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#21
US terror inmates 'attack guards'

Inmates at the US detention centre at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba have attacked guards after luring them with a staged suicide attempt, the US military said.
The detainees used weapons crafted from fans and light fixtures and the disturbance was quelled with minimum force, a US military spokesman said.

Six inmates were reportedly hurt in the clash. Earlier two inmates tried to kill themselves with prescribed drugs.

Thursday's incident coincides with a UN call on the US to close down the camp.

The UN Committee against Torture said the US should release detainees or give them access to a judicial process.

'Depressed detainees'

The US military has described Thursday's attack as the most violent and best organised in the history of the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.

The BBC's Adam Brookes in Washington says this is the first time that details have emerged of such an incident involving more than one inmate, although individuals regularly resist guards.

The US military said guards responded to an apparent attempt at suicide in Camp 4, a less restrictive part of the facility where detainees are allowed move more freely as a reward for good behaviour.

The facility's commanding officer, Rear Adm Harry Harris said the attempt was "a ruse to get the guards to enter the compound".

He said 10 detainees then attacked the guards as they entered the area, whose floor had been "slickened" with excrement, urine and soap.

Weapons such as broken light fittings and fan blades were used and at one point, another military spokesman said, the guards "were losing the fight".

The violence spread, as other inmates began destroying fittings in their parts of the prison.

The military said it took a team of 23 guards an hour to quell the unrest, using pepper spray and non-lethal shotgun rounds. A spokesman said six detainees were treated for minor injuries and no soldiers were hurt.

None of the detainees involved has been named. All those involved in the clash were removed to higher-security parts of the centre.

Earlier, two detainees are said to have attempted to commit suicide by overdosing on prescription drugs they had been hoarding. Both were reportedly unconscious but in a stable condition.

The military says there have been 39 suicide attempts in the camp since 2002, and hunger strikes have been common as detainees protest against their continued detention without trial.

'Immediate measures'

About 460 detainees are held at Guantanamo, which opened after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

Most detainees are being held without charge or trial, and lawyers who have visited the facility say many of them suffer from depression.

The call by the UN torture committee to close Guantanamo was accompanied by recommendations that secret US detention facilities abroad should be closed.

It called for "immediate measures" to eradicate torture and ill-treatment of detainees by US military personnel "in any territory under its jurisdiction".

John Bellinger, a legal spokesman for the US state department, said the report contained "factual and legal inaccuracies".

Some "acts of abuse" had occurred in the past, he said, but the US was taking steps to prevent any repeat.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4998928.stm
 

crunchy5

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#22
It's this sort of ingratitude that really pees off the US tax payer, free food and accommodation and free medical care always on hand, in the caribbean to boot and this is how they pay it back, I say send them all home at once. :x
 

rynner2

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#23
Three inmates die at Guantanamo

Three detainees at the US base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have died in what appears to have been a joint suicide pact, officials said.
It was not immediately clear when the inmates - two Saudis and a Yemeni - died, the US military said.

They "were found unresponsive and not breathing in their cells by guards".

The US holds about 460 men at the facility on suspicion of links to Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda organisation and the Taleban ex-leaders of Afghanistan.

They are the first deaths reported at the detention centre.

"Medical teams responded quickly and all three detainees were provided immediate emergency medical treatment in attempts to revive them," the Joint Task Force which runs the camp said in a statement.

"The three detainees were pronounced dead by a physician after all lifesaving measures had been exhausted."

Unrest

It is not first time detainees have attempted to commit suicide since the camp was set up four years ago.

Forty-one attempts have been made by 25 prisoners since then.

President George W Bush has been notified of the incident and the Pentagon is expected to issue a statement about the deaths.

Some detainees have been involved in on and off hunger strikes since last August to protest at their continued detention and conditions, although according to authorities the number dropped to 18 last weekend from a high of 131.

On Friday, Mr Bush responded to growing calls for the prison to be shut down, by saying: "We would like to end the Guantanamo - we'd like it to be empty."

"There are some that, if put out on the streets, would create grave harm to American citizens and other citizens of the world. And, therefore, I believe they ought to be tried in courts here in the United States," he added.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/5068228.stm
I thought the wole point of Guantanamo was that it was outside the jurisdiction of US law?
 
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#24
rynner said:
...

"There are some that, if put out on the streets, would create grave harm to American citizens and other citizens of the world. And, therefore, I believe they ought to be tried in courts here in the United States," he added.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/5068228.stm
I thought the wole point of Guantanamo was that it was outside the jurisdiction of US law?
They were some smart guys who wrote that Constitution.

Oh yes.
 

WhistlingJack

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#25
I've heard of spin, but this is ridiculous...

Guantanamo suicides 'acts of war'

The suicides of three detainees at the US base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, amount to acts of war, the US military says.


The camp commander said the two Saudis and a Yemeni were "committed" and had killed themselves in "an act of asymmetric warfare waged against us".

Rights groups said the men who hanged themselves had been driven by despair.

President George W Bush expressed "serious concern" over the suicides at Guantanamo, which holds about 460 men captured in the US "war on terror".

There have been dozens of suicide attempts since the camp was set up four years ago - but none successful until now.

The men were found unresponsive and not breathing by guards on Saturday morning, said officials.

They were in separate cells in Camp One, the highest security section of the prison.

They hanged themselves with clothing and bed sheets, camp commander Rear Adm Harry Harris said.

He said medical teams had tried to revive the men, but all three were pronounced dead.

A military investigation into the deaths is now under way.

Rear Adm Harris said he did not believe the men had killed themselves out of despair.

"They are smart. They are creative, they are committed," he said.

"They have no regard for life, either ours or their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us."


All three men had previously taken part in some of the mass on-and-off hunger strikes undertaken by detainees since last August, and all three had been force-fed by camp authorities.

They had left suicide notes, but no details have been made available.

The US military said the men's bodies were being treated "with the utmost respect".

White House spokesman Tony Snow said Mr Bush had "expressed serious concern" at the deaths.

"He also stressed that it was important to treat the bodies humanely and with cultural sensitivity," he said.

A spokesman for UK Prime Minister Tony Blair described the suicide as a "sad incident".

The suicides have sparked a chorus of protest from human rights groups including Amnesty International, which repeated demands for the camp to be closed.

William Goodman from the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights told AFP news agency the men were "heroes for those of us who believe in basic American values of justice, fairness and democracy".

Mr Goodman, whose organisation represents some 300 detainees, said the government had denied them that.

Ken Roth, head of Human Rights Watch in New York, told the BBC the men had probably been driven by despair.

"These people are despairing because they are being held lawlessly," he said.

"There's no end in sight. They're not being brought before any independent judges. They're not being charged and convicted for any crime."

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/06/11 06:59:57 GMT

© BBC MMVI
 
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#26
Re: I've heard of spin, but this is ridiculous...

WhistlingJack said:
Guantanamo suicides 'acts of war'

...


The camp commander said the two Saudis and a Yemeni were "committed" and had killed themselves in "an act of asymmetric warfare waged against us".

Rights groups said the men who hanged themselves had been driven by despair.

...

Story from BBC NEWS:

...
Welcome to Topsy Turvy Land. :(
 

rynner2

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#27
Re: I've heard of spin, but this is ridiculous...

Pietro_Mercurios said:
Welcome to Topsy Turvy Land. :(
On the academic hit parade of patriotic music "The World Turned Upside Down" is up there in the top ten with the "Star Spangled Banner" and the "Battle Hymn of the Republic." It's so apropos for the historical event; the world's most potent military power is trounced by a bunch of farmers, shopkeepers and overdressed Frenchmen in a battle that all but ends the Revolutionary War. A few bars of "The World Turned Upside Down" are perfect for the occasion. Maybe too perfect.
from http://www.americanrevolution.org/upside.html
 

Jerry_B

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#28
IMHO declaring the suicides as 'acts of war' seems to assume from the outset that those who died were guilty of being enemy combatants, and were thus still engaging in warfare. Seeing as few of those who've been through the Guantanamo system have been formally accused of anything, it seems that the inmates are considered guilty until proved innocent.
 
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#29
Jerry_B said:
IMHO declaring the suicides as 'acts of war' seems to assume from the outset that those who died were guilty of being enemy combatants, and were thus still engaging in warfare. Seeing as few of those who've been through the Guantanamo system have been formally accused of anything, it seems that the inmates are considered guilty until proved innocent.
It's the sheer inconvenience posed to the smooth running of the military machine. "How dare he bleed and get his blood all over my boots!" syndrome.
 

Jerry_B

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#30
Well, I wouldn't say that. It seems more to do with the stance that the system there has (as far as how it views the inmates). That is, that the inmates are guilty, and are thus engaging in 'warfare' in this way. Carrying on the supposed fight, as it were - despite the fact that it seems no definite charges have been bought against any of them. It's when stories like this arise that the whole system at Guantanamo seems to be living in some very strange place as far as normality is concerned.
 
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