For critics, Guantánamo symbolizes how the United States has thrown the rule of law overboard in the war on terrorism. US President Biden has announced the goal of closing the prison camp.
Washington – 20 years after the opening of the US prison camp Guantánamo, the human rights organization Amnesty International calls on US President Joe Biden to close the controversial facility.
“The camp is a synonym for arbitrariness, injustice and torture. The Guantánamo system cannot be repaired,” said Amnesty’s USA expert Sumit Bhattacharyya, the German press agency in Washington. “The camp itself must be closed and people who have been involved in torture or other illegal activities must be brought to justice. They have to answer for their actions. “
Protests in several cities
On the occasion of the upcoming 20th anniversary of the opening of the camp, Amnesty International is planning protests in several cities in Germany and other countries on Saturday. The first prisoners were brought to the camp in Cuba on January 11, 2002, which is located in a US military base. Amnesty accuses the US of having “continuously and systematically” violated human rights in the camp. The organization demands that the 39 remaining prisoners must be given “a fair trial under the rule of law in civil courts”. If no evidence of crimes can be produced, they would have to be released.
A total of almost 700 people were temporarily detained in the camp in Cuba. It was built after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 under Republican President George W. Bush to detain suspected Islamist terrorists without trial. Bush’s successor, Democrat Barack Obama, wanted to close it, but failed due to opposition in the US Congress. The Republican Donald Trump, in turn, wanted to keep the camp open. Biden – who was once Obama’s vice president – has targeted the closure. According to his government, he has initiated a “comprehensive review” of the prison camp.
“Eyesore of US history”
“It has been known for two decades that this camp does not meet international standards,” said Bhattacharyya of the review. With a view to the US congressional elections this year, the expert added: “It would be very much to be hoped that Biden would get serious and finally close the camp before the next election in November so that this stain on US history is finally wiped out. “Biden’s efforts to date are, however,” rather half-hearted “.
A commitment by the new federal government to the closure of Guantánamo would be “welcome,” said Bhattacharyya. “The federal government could of course warn the US government that the camp is illegal. One could possibly – if the Americans want that – take in people who have come from the camp who are proven innocent, so that at least the Gordian knot can be untied Find prisoners from Guantánamo.
Abandoned the rule of law
Bhattacharyya said Guantánamo sent out a devastating signal from the start. “The Guantanamo camp has sent the signal to the world that states which, like the USA, see themselves as champions of human rights, are ready in certain situations to give up fundamental principles such as the rule of law. A much stronger sign would have been to say: The United States is countering serious crimes such as the 9/11 attacks with the rule of law. And we are not moving away from this principle either. ”Dpa
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