Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Guantanamo: A decade too long

Ten years ago today, on January 11 2002, the US transferred its first load of prisoners to its gulag at Guantanamo Bay. A decade on, 171 prisoners - including twelve of that first shipment - are still there. They have been imprisoned for up to ten years, without charge, and without trial. Many of them have been tortured.

Their continued detention, and the continued existence of Guantanamo, is a stain on the record of the United States. The right not to be imprisoned without trial is fundamental. Those accused of crimes must be charged, and the evidence heard in open court before an impartial tribunal. Those who cannot be charged, or who are not accused of crimes at all, must be released. Those are the rules of civilised society, entrenched in international law. By refusing to obey that law, the US marks itself as a rogue state, its leaders criminals who themselves should be put on trial.

A decade of this abuse is a decade too long. its time for it to end. Guantanamo delenda est: Guantanamo must be closed.