Friday, August 26, 2016
Guantánamo’s Quagmire by Cesar Chelala
The US Government’s recent decision to send 15 Guantánamo Bay detainees to the United Arab Emirates is the largest and most recent detainee transfer under President Obama. The transfer, however, doesn’t hide the fact that Guantánamo (“Gitmo”) remains a stain in the foreign policy reputation of the United States.
Gitmo was opened in January 2002, under the administration of former President George W. Bush, for the purpose of locking up foreign terror suspects after the 9/11/2001 attacks and subsequent U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan. Some 779 men have been brought there since Gitmo opened. Nine prisoners have died at the facility. While most of them were released by President George W. Bush, 161 were released during President Obama’s administration. Only 61 prisoners remain in Guantánamo, of which only seven are facing criminal charges.
Both Republicans and some Democrats claim that Guantánamo prisoners are too dangerous to keep in U.S. soil, totally rejecting the idea of bringing them to the U.S. for trial. Keeping an individual locked up for years under administrative detention is in itself a judicial travesty, however, and maintaining such indefinite deprivation of liberty without bringing criminal charges is a gross human rights violation.
To read the full text of the news report, click here.