Make no mistake, Guantanamo Bay is a stain on the sullen face of democracy. For 11 years a joint British and Saudi Arabian citizen has been held at this American base without being charged. Despite the protestations of the British government, a lack of critical evidence and numerous protests, Shaker Aamer remains locked up in Guantanamo Bay, deprived of his basic human rights and subject to degrading torture.
Despite the hope of President Obama calling for the closure of the prison, based on Cuban ground, the prison is still operational, still torturing and still being run in defiance of basic human rights. Amnesty International has repeated called the prison a ‘human rights scandal‘, The International Committee of the Red Cross found repeated detainee abuses when it inspected the camp in 2004, and Human Rights Watch has stated that ‘(the US) has refused to apply the Genevea Conventions to prisoners of war from Afghanistan, and has misused the designation of ‘illegal combatant’ to apply to criminal suspects on U.S. soil” in a 2003 report.
The world is currently in turmoil, thousands are dying in a vicious and bloody war in Syria, protests are on-going in Turkey, Brazil has had numerous large scale demonstrations de-crying the state for its lack of improving social issues, and Greece is under the boot of austerity, with the rise of the Golden Dawn party becoming a worry for Greece’s citizens and Europe. It is time for a strong moral and ethical backbone. Guantanamo Bay exists to facilitate the prisoners of war carried out in the wake of the horrific 9/11 terrorist attack in the US. I believe that prisoners should be treated fairly and equally, that they should face legal justice where guilt is in evidence. I do not believe torture and the de-basing of human rights is the correct, moral or ethical approach.
Shaker Aamer is currently on hunger strike, as are many of his fellow prisoners in Guantanamo Bay who protest their ill treatment, torture and abuse.
When you dehumanise the enemy, you dehumanise yourself.