Rights experts condemn ‘unrelenting human rights violations’ at Guantánamo Bay

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A radical of autarkic quality rights experts appointed by the UN Human Rights Council has condemned the continued cognition of the Guantánamo Bay detention installation successful Cuba arsenic a tract of “unparalleled notoriety” and “a stain connected the US Government’s committedness to the regularisation of law”.

The detention camp, sited wrong a US naval basal connected the island, was acceptable up successful 2002 to location prisoners captured successful Afghanistan, and astatine its highest housed immoderate 780 people, astir of whom were detained without trial.

Of the 39 detainees inactive held astatine Guantánamo , lone 9 person been charged, oregon convicted of crimes. Between 2002 and 2021, 9 detainees died successful custody, 2 from earthy causes and 7 reportedly committed suicide. None had been charged oregon convicted of a crime.

In a connection released connected Monday to coincide with the 20th day of the facility, the experts called connected the US, a recently elected subordinate of the Council, to adjacent Guantánamo , and declared that 2 decades of “practising arbitrary detention without proceedings accompanied by torture oregon sick attraction is simply unacceptable for immoderate government, peculiarly a authorities which has a stated assertion to protecting quality rights”.

‘Site of unparalleled notoriety’

“Despite forceful, repeated and unequivocal condemnation of the cognition of this horrific detention and situation analyzable with its associated proceedings processes, the United States continues to detain persons galore of whom person ne'er been charged with immoderate crime,” the experts said. 

“Guantánamo Bay is simply a tract of unparalleled notoriety, defined by the systematic usage of torture, and different cruel, inhuman oregon degrading attraction against hundreds of men brought to the tract and deprived of their astir cardinal rights”, they added, going connected to picture the installation arsenic a awesome of a systematic deficiency of accountability for state-sponsored torture, sick treatment, and impunity granted to those responsible. 

Ageing population

As the remaining detainees get older, their wellness is deteriorating, and the US Department of Defense has reportedly requested a fund of astir $88 cardinal to physique a hospice.

The level of aesculapian assistance and torture rehabilitation attraction disposable to the prisoners is, accidental the experts, inadequate, contempt being required nether planetary law. 

The experts called connected the US to adjacent the site, instrumentality detainees location oregon to harmless 3rd countries, portion respecting the rule of non-refoulement, which means that they cannot beryllium sent to a state successful which they could beryllium taxable to persecution.

They besides called for reparations to beryllium made for tortured and arbitrarily detained prisoners, and for those who authorized and engaged successful torture to beryllium held accountable, arsenic required nether planetary law.

Decade-long tribunal day delays

Since the opening of the detention centre successful 2002, lone 12 detainees are reported to person been charged, and conscionable 2 convicted by Military Commissions.

The proceedings of the 5 acused of straight participating successful the 2001 crippled that led to planes being hijacked, and flown into New York’s Twin Towers and the Pentagon, person inactive not begun.

Pre-trial hearings connected motions to suppress grounds of torture, are present going into a tenth year. In their statement, the experts explicit heavy interest astatine these delays. “We peculiarly item the failures of the United States judicial strategy to play a meaningful relation successful protecting quality rights, upholding the regularisation of instrumentality and enabling a ineligible achromatic spread to thrive successful Guantánamo  with their evident support and support,” they declare.

The experts praised lawyers defending the detainees who person “battled to support the regularisation of instrumentality and identified the persistent quality rights failures successful the day-to-day cognition of Commissions” which, they say, proceed to interruption the requirements of impartiality, independency and non-discrimination and should ne'er person been utilized successful the mode they were deployed astatine Guantánamo.   

Special Rapporteurs and autarkic experts are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and study backmost on a circumstantial quality rights taxable oregon a state situation. The positions are honorary, and the experts are not paid for their work.

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