Friday, November 18, 2005

"Shadow Justice"

The UN has now officially declined America's terms for inspecting Guantánamo Bay. The UN requires private interviews with the prisoners--terms rejected by the US:
The special investigator, Martin Nowak, added that the US's stance compared poorly with that of China, which had allowed unrestricted access to its jails. Mr Nowak said the UN had already compromised on the terms of the visit, scaling down its original request for a three-day visit by five inspectors to a one-day trip (due to have been made on December 5) by three investigators.
[...] One of those the US has blocked from attending Guantánamo is Paul Hunt, UN investigator on the right to health, who said he wanted to interview detainees about torture claims and hunger strikes at the base, which have been going on since August. Mr Hunt said the US authorities "should not escape international accountability".
Amnesty had this to say:

[click "Read on, MacDuff!" to continue reading]
Amnesty's secretary general, Irene Khan, said refusing full access to the camp was "totally unacceptable" and that Guantánamo was the "epicentre of the shadow justice system" and "the most notorious link in a chain of detention camps including Bagram airbase in Afghanistan, prisons in Iraq and secret facilities elsewhere". [...] It was revealed this week that the US has detained more than 83,000 people in its four-year "war on terror", of which 14,500 remain in jail. Some 108 are known to have died in US custody, prompting 26 homicide investigations.
A few weeks back, I wrote a post about a lawyer who had witnessed his client's suicide-attempt. Mr. al-Dossary had become terribly desperate and wanted someone from "the outside" to see his pain. On Monday, Mr. al-Dossary attempted to kill himself again:
A Bahraini man held in Guantánamo tried to kill himself on Monday by pulling sutures out of an arm wound he inflicted on himself last month, according to court documents filed in Washington. Juma'a Muhammad al-Dossary, who has been held at Guantánamo since February 2002, has made eight previous suicide attempts and has been on hunger strike for several weeks in protest at the US's refusal to free him along with a group of Bahraini prisoners recently released from the camp.
In other US torture news, the Agence France Presse reported that former CIA director Stansfield Turner is outraged by VP Cheney's role in advocating torture. Turner told ITV News:
"We have crossed the line into dangerous territory," [...] "I am embarrassed that the USA has a vice president for torture. I think it is just reprehensible. He (Mr Cheney) advocates torture, what else is it? I just don't understand how a man in that position can take such a stance."
The US is going to investigate claims of torture in Iraq...but only that which has been attributed to Iraqis themselves. Gareth Keenan inveTIgates :(


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