Wednesday, January 25, 2012

UN Human Right's Chief criticizes Obama

   Navi Pillay is the chief of Human Rights for the UN. She criticized Obama for not following through on his promise to close Guantanamo three years ago.
    In a statement Pillay said:  “It is ten years since the US Government opened the prison at Guantanamo, and now three years since 22 January 2009, when the President ordered its closure within twelve months,”“Yet the facility continues to exist and individuals remain arbitrarily detained – indefinitely – in clear breach of international law.”  The U.S. considers that the detainees are unprivileged combatants in hostilities between the U.S. and Islamic terrorists and it is legal to hold them indefinitely. However many legal analysts would side with the UN position that holding people indefinitely with no charges is against international law.
   Certainly the practice entails that anyone suspected of terrorism has no right of habeas corpus and can be detained indefinitely without charge. A considerable number of detainees have been released. However in many cases the U.S. cannot find countries willing to receive those who are released. Only six trials have been held so far. Obama has said that some of those detained will probably spend the rest of their lives in custody without trial.
    Eight people detained died in custody. Six of those committed suicide. Advisers to Obama claim he is still committed to closing Guantanamo. I doubt it will be a prominent issue in the upcoming election campaign as the Republicans for the most part are quite happy that the facility remains open. For more see this article.




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