Thursday, July 21, 2005

Forgotten People

Is the US ever going to do anything about Guantanamo Bay? The inmates have been there now for nearly four years. Unsurprisingly a number of them are trying to get the attention they well deserve by staging a hunger strike. Anmesty International describes conditions in the camp as including substantiated reports of "torture and widespread cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment", and remember the letter that came out at the start of this year?

Surely four years is enough to have gathered whatever evidence they wanted to press charges against the detainees, many of whom incidentally contest their innocence. Amnesty's background report provides for shocking reading. How can we take seriously the foreign policy of a country who behave in this way? We need to step up the pressure on the US and make it clear we are still watching. Anmesty has some suggestions on how to do this.

Some of these guys have family in the UK. In particular Shaker Aamer who has a wife and four children who are British citizens. How can Tony Blair be calling on the British Muslim community to "root out extremism" while he is doing nothing about member of that community illegally detained and tortured at the hands of someone he has round the house for tea on a regular basis?

As for Tony's suggestion that the London bombings have nothing to do with Iraq... is he trying to do us comedians out of a job?


simon said...

How predictable you chose the Guantanamo Bay detainees from all the examples listed by Amnesty on their website. I've just browsed it and if I had to choose a human rights issue to become embroiled in the Cuba camp would be near the top of my list. I'd fancy my chances of survival, medical treatment and adequate food as a lot higher than in most of the other listed cases. Or are you one of those people who, while not racist in any way, seem to expect higher standards of behaviour from the USA than from China, Nepal, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey etc etc?

The conditions at Guantanamo bay do seem to excite Guardain types to an odd degree. Remember that time the warder 'mistreated' a copy of the Koran? Abiut the same time this happened. We didn't hear too much about it did we?

Cruella said...

The US is a richer and more developed country than (most of*) the others you mention. So yes I do expect higher standards from them. In fact I would like to see higher standards world-wide but I think the Americans have it more easily within their power to raise standards. Further the US operates as an unappointed "global police force" marching in on countries they consider to be out of line. I think before you do such a thing you should put your own house in order.

* Exception being Saudi Arabia which is very rich indeed and very much part of the US oil conspiracy which most people accept is the real reason for the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq.