Guantanamo: A Crime Itself

February 28, 2010
Guantanamo’s eighth anniversary just passed last month; twenty chained detainees were brought to the Guantanamo Bay Naval Station, located in Cuba, on January 11, 2002. When Barack Obama ascended to the presidency, he pledged to shut down the prison within a year; yet around two hundred men remain the prison, most of them never having even been charged with a crime. On January 21, 2010, around thirty-six retired American generals and admirals wrote a letter to Obama urging him to close the prison. They asked the President to disregard opponents who are trying to use irrelevant issues, such as the bombing of Flight 253, in order to keep the prison running; they argue that torture is a form of abuse which should not be tolerated and that tortured detainees in the prison are very prone to provide false intelligence, which could be a threat to the entire country.

Other nations around the world have made significant contributions to close the prison at Guantanamo. Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Belgium, and France all have accept detainees from Guantanamo. Just a few days ago on February 3, Switzerland decided to resettle two Uighur detainees (members of an oppressed Turkic minority in western China) on “humanitarian grounds”; just a week before this, the country also resettled an Uzbek detainee from Guantanamo. Originally, twenty-two Uighur detainees were held at Guantanamo, who were captured and “sold” to the United States for large bounties. The Uighurs have been cleared for release by America ever since 2004, but they cannot return to their home in China for fears of persecution. They need other countries to resettle them; Albania resettled five in 2006 while Bermuda and Palau resettled four and six Uighurs respectively in 2009. The United States has been called by many human rights activists groups, including Human Rights Watch, to resettle the Uighurs in America. There is already a sizable Uighur community living in Virginia, which generously offered to provide services for the detainees. However, in 2009, Congress prohibited the resettlement of prison detainees in America. Many other detainees from various countries excluding the Uighurs cannot return to their home country for fear of persecution and need to find other homes as soon as possible.

The detainees at the Guantanamo facility are grossly suffering a violation of human rights. Many of these detainees have not even been charged from a crime and they are still being imprisoned for years. Congress barred the resettlement of Uighurs in America even though the Uighurs presently living in Virginia offered to give full assistance to the detainees. Numerous other nations have accepted detainees for resettlement but the United States, which actually agreed to accept Guantanamo detainees are a pre-condition to some European countries, fails to take in these mistreated individuals. The detainees at Guantanamo are also abused and tortured, which is intolerable and a violation of humans rights’ because as said before, many are not even implicated in any crimes. Most of the Uighurs have been cleared for release since 2004, and some of them are still suffering for six long years.

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MisplacedTexan14 said...
Mar. 9, 2010 at 7:18 pm
I do not agree with you. We are at war, we need a prisoner of war camp. At Gitmo, the detainees get meals, they can go outside and play sports. How do you think they would treat their prisoners. They would torture them (not waterboard them, actually torture them) or kill them. Maybe we should start being like them. So no one can accuse us of mistreating prisoners, why don't we just kill them all?
(PS I was being sarcastic with that last comment, just so you know)
MountainGirl said...
Mar. 5, 2010 at 12:04 pm
Wow, really interesting article, and well written. It was like reading a real newspaper article. Why are so many Uighurs in Guatanamo? Are they a majority or minority of the prisoners there? Where did you get your information so that I can learn more?
inspiredpoet replied...
Mar. 5, 2010 at 5:03 pm
Thank you =]
The Uighurs are detained because they were "sold" to the US government by Islamic groups and they were apparently thought of as dangerous. I'm not sure if the Uighurs are a majority of the prisoners, but there are certainly quite a few of them. And i got the information from the Amnesty International (a local chapter of the club is in my school) website; there's petitions on there to free the detainees as well
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