Thursday, October 22, 2009

BAGRAM Must Go! Here's Why...(and UPDATED US Rights Items)

(My one disclaimer here is that we needn't and shouldn't wait for Gitmo to close at last to close Bagram but work on closing BOTH Bagram and Gitmo simultaneously. If we wait for Gitmo to close before acting on Bagram, we could be waiting months or possibly years longer than proposed and meantime continue to harm US reputation worldwide yet even more to do grave, unthinkable dis-service to the people within those prison walls. Connie)

From Bill of Rights Defense Committee
here ( scroll down for news or go to bordc dot org slash news )

Or find: here

In a nutshell:

"... According to human rights groups, the Bagram airbase prison is even worse than Gitmo because of its hellish conditions and torture of detainees. While the US is in the process of closing down Gitmo giving its inmates a chance to defend themselves in its courts, it is refusing to extend the same privilege to those held at Bagram. However, rights groups insist that most Bagram detainees are equally innocent.

One case in point is that of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, who mysteriously disappeared in Islamabad to resurface in the US custody last year – after five years. The US-trained neuroscientist is said to have been kept at Bagram and tortured for years even as her family looked for her everywhere.

President Obama can restore the world’s faith in America and its moral leadership by shutting both Gitmo and Bagram — or by opening them to justice and the rule of law."

See also related: Congress Passes Gitmo Bill
here

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After Gitmo, Bagram Must Go

22 October 2009
The US Senate has given the go ahead to President Barack Obama’s decision to close the infamous military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Senate passed by a 79 to 19 vote to allow the government to transfer detainees from the prison to the US soil for trial or transfer them to their home countries.

The measure has already been approved by the House of Representatives and now goes to Obama for his signature.

The closure of the Gitmo prison was the first executive decision Obama made after taking office. Considering the worldwide opinion and growing international pressure to shut the prison, the move was understandably hailed around the world as a huge step forward on human rights front. It indeed had been a courageous decision by the new president after all that had been going on at Gitmo for years under the previous administration.

More than 600 people picked up randomly from around the world, especially from Afghanistan and Pakistan, after the US invasion of Afghanistan had been lodged at the prison camp in Cuba for years in despicable conditions — without a trial and without giving them access to their families. In fact, even today little information is available about those held at the Bay and their crimes. As some of America’s own most respected newspapers and media networks have reported, most of those faceless suspects at Gitmo had been men who just happened to be at a wrong place at a wrong time.

Some of those detainees have subsequently been released or transferred to their home countries. However, there is still a large number of detainees out there who have been given up for dead by their families. They don’t have anyone to defend or fight for them. This is why the Obama administration’s move to transfer those unfortunate men to the US soil before shutting what has come to be known as America’s gulag is so welcome. If those men are indeed guilty of what they have been accused of, they should be tried in a US court of law. Else, they should be set free to go home to their countries. In fact, they should be compensated for having been imprisoned and traumatised all these years without a charge and without any evidence.

While shutting down the Guantanamo Bay, Obama must not forget about the other gulag that the US has been operating in Afghanistan. According to human rights groups, the Bagram airbase prison is even worse than Gitmo because of its hellish conditions and torture of detainees. While the US is in the process of closing down Gitmo giving its inmates a chance to defend themselves in its courts, it is refusing to extend the same privilege to those held at Bagram. However, rights groups insist that most Bagram detainees are equally innocent.

One case in point is that of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, who mysteriously disappeared in Islamabad to resurface in the US custody last year – after five years. The US-trained neuroscientist is said to have been kept at Bagram and tortured for years even as her family looked for her everywhere.

President Obama can restore the world’s faith in America and its moral leadership by shutting both Gitmo and Bagram — or by opening them to justice and the rule of law.

Top of archives at the Bill of Rights Defense Committee for Wednesday - Thursday here

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UPDATES on RIGHTS VARIOUS: Current News at Bill of Rights Defense Committee (for all the items below here and scroll down...

10/22, Nat Hentoff, Opposing Views, Obama Every Bit as Bad as Bush/Cheney on Patriot Act

10/22, Emily Berman, Roll Call, Democrats Failing to End Bush-Era Abuses of Power

10/22, David Frenkel, Winchester (MA) Star, Dear President Obama, 'hope' is not enough

10/21, David Kravets, Wired, House Considers Limiting Patriot Act Spy Powers

For all the items above please GO...here and scroll down to NEWS....

1 comment:

Connie L. Nash said...

http://www.truthout.org/1022092 Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case of Wrongfully Detained Guantanamo PrisonersThursday 22 October 2009