Rights experts condemn ‘unrelenting human rights violations’ at Guantánamo Bay |

The detention camp, located on a US naval base on the island, was established in 2002 to house prisoners captured in Afghanistan, and at its peak housed some 780 people, most of them incarcerated. hold without trial.

Of the 39 people detained at Guantánamo, only nine have been charged or found guilty. Between 2002 and 2021, nine people arrested died in custody, two from natural causes, and seven are believed to have committed suicide. No one has been charged or convicted of a crime.

In a statement released Monday, coinciding with the facility’s 20th anniversary, experts called on the United States, a newly elected member of the Council, to close Guantánamo, and announced that the two decades “the practice of arbitrary detention without trial accompanied by torture or ill-treatment is simply unacceptable to any government, especially one that claims to defend human rights.” “.

‘The Site of Unparalleled Reputation’

“Despite the strong, repeated and unequivocal condemnation of the operation of this terrible detention complex and prison with associated adjudication processes, the United States remains continue to detain people, many of whom have never been charged with any crime,” the experts said.

Guantánamo Bay is a site of unparalleled fame, defined by the systematic use of torture and other brutal, inhuman or degrading treatment of hundreds of men brought to the site. and deprived of their most basic rights”, they go on to describe the facility as a symbol of systemic irresponsibility towards state-sponsored torture, ill-treatment and abuse. punishment for those responsible.

Old population

As the remaining detainees aged, their health deteriorated, and the US Department of Defense requested a budget of approximately $88 million to build a hospice.

According to experts, the level of medical assistance and rehabilitative treatment given to prisoners by torture is insufficient, despite being required under international law.

Experts call on the US to close the site, return the detainees to their home country or to a safe third country, while respecting the principle of no re-education, meaning that they cannot be sent to a country where they are located. may be persecuted.

They also call for compensation for prisoners who are tortured and arbitrarily detained, and for those who permit and participate in torture to be held accountable, as required by international law.

The delay in court date lasted for decades

Since the prison’s opening in 2002, only 12 detainees have been reported to have been charged, and only two have been convicted by the Military Commission.

The trial of five people believed to have been directly involved in the 2001 plot that led to the plane being hijacked, and into the Twin Towers of New York and the Pentagon, has yet to begin.

Pre-trial hearings on moves to suppress evidence of torture, now in their tenth year. In their statement, the experts expressed deep concern about the delay. “We particularly highlight the failures of the US justice system to play a meaningful role in protecting human rights, upholding the rule of law, and facilitating a legal black hole,” they stated. logic thrived in Guantánamo with their unequivocal sympathies and support.

Experts praised the detainees’ defense lawyers for “fighting to uphold the rule of law and identify the continuing human rights failures in the Commission’s day-to-day operations”, they said, continuing. practices violate the requirements of objectivity, independence and non-discrimination and should never be used in the way they are deployed at Guantánamo.

Special rapporteurs and independent experts are appointed by the Geneva-based organization United Nations Human Rights Council to check and report back about a particular human rights topic or a country situation. The positions are honorary, and professionals are not paid for their work.

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