Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 1/16/2002 8:56:47 AM EDT
My comment: AHH SHUT the HELL UP! http://www.msnbc.com/news/683983.asp Britons uneasy about Guantanamo 3 U.K. citizens among detainees at U.S. facility LONDON, Jan. 15 — There is growing unease in Britain over the treatment of detainees at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where U.S. authorities say three British citizens are among the roughly 50 prisoners captured on the battlefields in Afghanistan. The British media have been scathing in criticizing the high-security procedures, prompting Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to insist Tuesday that the British detainees be treated in accordance with international law. AN OFFICIAL at the British Foreign Office said Britain is seeking access to the three Britons on Guantanamo. ”[We] have been told we would get it, although we have not able to see them yet,” the official, who asked not to be named, told MSNBC.com. She would not comment on British media reports that four more Britons are due in Cuba shortly. U.S. CRITICIZED The United States has opted not to call those held in Guantanamo prisoners of war, but rather “unlawful combatants,” allowing American authorities to opt out of the Geneva Convention. The British media have been scathing in their criticism for this decision and for the U.S. military’s treatment of the prisoners. Human rights groups and some British politicians have also expressed concern.
Link Posted: 1/16/2002 8:58:13 AM EDT
Washington defends its decision, saying the detainees either belong to al-Qaida — classified by the United States, the European Union and most other governments as a terrorist organization — or the vanquished Taliban regime, which was only recognized as the legitimate government of Afghanistan by three countries, even prior to Sept. 11. Although journalists have been kept at a distance, human rights groups have voiced concern over how the prisoners were transported to Cuba. For the 27-hour flight from Kandahar, Afghanistan, to Guantanamo, the prisoners were shackled, manacled and blindfolded. At least one prisoner on the first flight — which Pentagon officials said carried the “worst of the worst” elements of al-Qaida and the Taliban — was sedated for the trip. The prisoners at the camp are kept in mostly outdoor metal cages surrounded by razor-wire fences. Officials believe that eventually around 2,000 men will be transported to the base. The International Committee of the Red Cross, which is expected to gain access to the facility later this week, has objected to the conditions in which the prisoners are reportedly held. Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clark on Monday dismissed claims that the prisoners were being mistreated. She said they were given three “culturally appropriate” meals each day, and were allowed daily exercise, showers and medical treatment.
Link Posted: 1/16/2002 8:59:37 AM EDT
LONDON DODGES CONTROVERSY Officials in London have tried to defuse talk of a significant split with Washington on the issue. Prime Minister Tony Blair’s office said the prisoners’ treatment “is a matter for the American authorities.” But Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Tuesday that Britons held in Cuba must be treated according to international law. “These people ... are accused of having been members of the most dangerous terrorist organization which the world has ever seen,” Straw told the British Broadcasting Corp. “That does not mean for a second that they do not have rights and where they are British citizens it is our responsibility to ensure that they receive those rights,” he said. “Of course, if we regard the conditions as unsatisfactory we will say so.” The Foreign Office official said the United States was aware of Britain’s concerns. “We’ve raised the issue of the [prisoners’] treatment with the Americans and we’ve been given assurances that they will be treated humanely and according to international conventions,” she said. “On the other hand, we recognize that these are potentially very difficult and dangerous people and the United States has a right to protect against problems, and to seek justice,” the official added. Straw discussed the issue over the weekend during a telephone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Link Posted: 1/16/2002 9:00:51 AM EDT
AMNESTY LASHES OUT The London-based human rights group Amnesty International wrote U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld expressing its concern for the detainees’ treatment. “Amnesty supports the position of the International Committee of the Red Cross that people captured in the Afghan war and held at Guantanamo Bay should be presumed prisoners of war,” Avner Gidron, a spokesman for Amnesty International at its London headquarters, told MSNBC.com. “We’re concerned that the U.S. is placing these people in Guantanamo Bay in a sort of legal limbo by not having officially charged them with anything and not offering them the most basic legal protection to ensure fairness,” he said. During open debate on the House of Commons floor on Monday, one of the Labor government’s own members, Jeremy Corbyn, challenged the detainees’ treatment. “Is it legal? What law is being applied?” he asked rhetorically. Corbyn added that the international community should not be “illegally taking people out of Afghanistan DEATH PENALTY CONTROVERSY Since the Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay is not on American soil, the detainees are not protected under U.S. law, and may not be given access to legal counsel or an appeals process. Gidron said Amnesty International was worried about U.S. plans for trying the prisoners before military commissions where there is no presumption of innocence and no appeals process. Britain, meanwhile, typically refuses to grant extradition to countries where suspects may face capital punishment, which U.S. prosecutors are likely to seek in some cases. Like most countries in Europe, the United Kingdom is party to the European Convention on Human Rights, which bans the death penalty. It is unclear if British officials will object to the prospect of British nationals facing a possible death penalty. At least one British national, Scotsman James McLintock, is also being held in Pakistan, suspected of links to Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida network. The 37-year-old Muslim convert — called the “tartan Taliban” by British newspapers — was allegedly picked up by U.S. and Pakistani authorities as he tried to cross from Afghanistan into Pakistan with a convoy of al-Qaida fighters last month. British lawmakers have left open the possibility that Britons found to have fought against U.S. and British troops could face treason charges if they return home.
Link Posted: 1/16/2002 9:05:30 AM EDT
Anyone ever notice that the Brits seem to be awfully noisy as of late. Incessant criticisms, annoyingly hypocritical, more of that- "WE" know better than you people- sort of thing. Of course, it really wasn't their country that was bombed. Neither was it their citizens who got threatened. But they naturally would jump on the bandwagon awfully fast to defend those who did. I really am starting to wonder about people in Europe. Sheesh Those scumbags being transported to Cuba deserve at most one thing. And I'll you people do the honors of naming that "one thing" also. (disgusted)
Top Top