Guantanamo Bay Prison: Human Rights Obliterated

Topics: Human rights, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United States Constitution Pages: 7 (2554 words) Published: October 20, 2010
The United States government has broken its long lasting tradition of protecting human rights by allowing the mistreatment of prisoners at the Guantanamo bay prison on the island of Cuba. America has always symbolized a nation that promotes and protects human rights and always stood as a symbol of democracy for the rest of the world. However, the long standing tradition of obeying the values instituted by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights has been reversed by Guantanamo Bay. The human rights that the United States stands for have not been provided for the detainees at Guantanamo and the sheer existence of the Guantanamo Bay camp contradicts most values and beliefs put forth by the U.S. government, thereby steadily decreasing people’s trust in the word of politicians. The actions at Guantanamo have entailed a negative image towards the United States and a world view that is contrary to the long lasting symbol the United States has stood for. Therefore, closing down Guantanamo Bay Prison will efficiently correct the governments' wrongdoing and greatly improve the view of other nations toward the United States. Despite ongoing media coverage, the Guantanamo Bay prison remains a fairly unfamiliar topic to most people. Society is not familiar with the identity of the prisoners, their wrongdoing, the charges against them, or the possibility of a release. The lack of media coverage has left most of the american society clueless about the governments' action at the prison. The nation is not aware of the laws that are being broken and the diminishing bonds between the U.S and other powers of the world.

First of all, Guantanamo Bay prison is where the U.S. government keeps “suspected members of al-Qaeda and the Taliban” (Eisenberg and Burger). The suspected men ranging from the ages seventeen to sixty-five have been arrested throughout the world and suspected to be dangerous and posing a security threat to the United States and the rest of the western world (“United States”). The majority of these 520 men still imprisoned today are from Afghanistan and Iraq (Chavez). Most people opposed to the existence of the prison argue that there was no sufficient proof that these men are of any danger to the US or the world (“United States”). Many of them are believed to have been sold by their countrymen to the United States government for large sums of money. “I was sold by my neighbor, so that he could support his family” said Amjad, a former detainee, who after five years of imprisonment was finally released back to Afghanistan. There were many instances where feuds between families in those countries resulted in one family losing a member to Guantanamo, regardless if this individual never took part in any terrorist group. The captured men are not informed of the reason for their imprisonment and have been in isolation for more than six years.

The American officials instead claim that the captured men have some knowledge about terrorist attacks or other terrorist related activities (Eisenberg and Burger). However only four have been charged with crimes in the past three years and the majority are innocent of any terrorist actions (Locy). The government and mainly the Bush administration went further to say that these suspected terrorists are not considered prisoners of war, meaning that the rights under Geneva Convention, which protect POWs from indefinite imprisonment and aggressive interrogation, do not apply (Eisenberg and Burger). Detainees are therefore tortured and interrogated daily to provide any clues or insights into future terrorist activities. Torture can include water-boarding, electric shock, deprivation of food and drinks, mental abuse, and many other types of maltreatments. Former detainee Murat Kamaz, who was released in August 2008 because of the lack of evidence that he was involved in any terrorist activities revealed many ways in which he was tortured. “I have endured a lot of torture, from electric...

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