U.S. Expands Guantanamo

The Pentagon announced that a new, permanent prison will open in the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a move that clearly defies international mounting international calls to shut down the jail, The Independent reported.

U.S. Expands Guantanamo

Officials said Camp 6, a maximum-security prison built by a Halliburton subsidiary, will hold around 200 detainees. Commander Robert Durand, a spokesman for Joint Task Force Guantanamo, said the $30m jail will open by the end of September, claiming that "Camp 6 is designed to improve the quality of life for the detainees and provide greater protection for the people working in the facility."

The recent announcement defy international calls to shut down the detention centre, which still holds 450 foreign suspects captured in President George Bush's "war on terror". Critics point to Bush's claim in June that he would "like to empty" Guantanamo. Weeks after he made his remarks, the Supreme Court ruled that Guantanamo military tribunals were "illegal" under U.S. law and international Geneva conventions.  

Amnesty International's UK campaigns director, Tim Hancock, said: "This appears to make a mockery of President Bush's statements about the need to close down Guantanamo Bay. In addition to strongly urging the President to step in to prevent any extension to this already notorious prison camp, we call on him to speed up the process of closing Guantanamo and of ensuring that all detainees are allowed fair trials or released to safe countries."

Zachary KatzNelson, senior counsel with the group Reprieve, which represents 36 Guantanamo detainees, said that public opinion would ultimately force the United States to close the prison.  "If Bush had the choice, he would not shut it, and the men [held there] would never see the light of day, and neither would their stories come out," he said. "The reality is that the world knows too much. He has to shut it down." Only ten of Guantanamo prisoners have been formally charged.

A probe carried earlier this year by New Jersey's Seton Hall University showed that, based on the military's own documents, 55 percent of Guantanamo detainees didn't commit any hostile acts against the United States, and that 40 percent aren't accused of having links to al-Qaeda network. The report also suggested that 86 percent of those held at Guantanamo were captured by the Northern Alliance or Pakistani authorities "at a time when the U.S. offered large bounties for the capture of suspected terrorists".

Source: Islam Online

Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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