Shocking UN Report: Guantanamo violates International law, may be crimes against humanity

Originally published at: Shocking UN Report: Guantanamo violates International law, may be crimes against humanity | Boing Boing




That’s what happens when you staff a prison with gratuitous sadists like Ron DeSantis.


I agree, apart from my complete lack of shock that the place intended to indefinitely hold prisoners without charge so they can be tortured turns out to have broken a few rules.


And, get shitstains like Marc Thiessen to write torture apologia in the media. Luckily he’s been roundly criticized and shunned for such abhorrent beliefs and can only find employment in . . . [checks notes] . . . ah, the Washington Post.


Shocking UN Report: Guantanamo violates International law, may be crimes against humanity


Isn’t this the whole point of “black sites”?


The only shocking part is that it took the UN over two decades to make that determination.


Baddie GIF by Giphy QA

Far too often, we absolutely are, yes.

The point is, it shouldn’t be. Ever. It’s as the report notes, crimes against humanity.


Guantanamo violates International law, may be crimes against humanity


In November 2005, a group of experts from the United Nations Commission on Human Rights called off their visit to Camp Delta, originally scheduled for 6 December, saying that the United States was not allowing them to conduct private interviews with the prisoners. “Since the Americans have not accepted the minimum requirements for such a visit, we must cancel [it],” Manfred Nowak, the UN envoy in charge of investigating torture allegations around the world, told AFP. The group, nevertheless, stated its intention to write a report on conditions at the prison based on eyewitness accounts from released detainees, meetings with lawyers and information from human rights groups.[265][266]

Detainee being escorted

In February 2006, the UN group released its report, which called on the U.S. either to try or release all suspected terrorists. The report, issued by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, has the subtitle Situation of detainees at Guantánamo Bay.

  1. International human rights law is applicable to the analysis of the situation of
    detainees in Guantánamo Bay. Indeed, human rights law applies at all times, even
    during situations of emergency and armed conflicts. The war on terror, as such,
    does not constitute an armed conflict for the purposes of the applicability of
    international humanitarian law. The United States of America has not notified to
    the Secretary-General of the United Nations or other States parties to the treaties
    any official derogation from the International Covenant on Civil and Political
    Rights or any other international human rights treaty to which it is a party.
  2. The persons held at Guantánamo Bay are entitled to challenge the legality of
    their detention before a judicial body in accordance with article 9 of ICCPR, and to
    obtain release if detention is found to lack a proper legal basis. This right is
    currently being violated, and the continuing detention of all persons held at
    Guantánamo Bay amounts to arbitrary detention in violation of article 9 of ICCPR.
  3. The executive branch of the United States Govenrment operates as judge,
    prosecutor and defence counsel of the Guantánamo Bay detainees: this constitutes
    serious violations of various guarantees of the right to a fair trial before an
    independent tribunal as provided for by article 14 of the ICCPR.
  4. Attempts by the United States Administration to redefine “torture” in the
    framework of the struggle against terrorism in order to allow certain interrogation
    techniques that would not be permitted under the internationally accepted
    definition of torture are of utmost concern. The confusion with regard to authorized
    page 37
    and unauthorized interrogation techniques over the last years is particularly
  5. The interrogation techniques authorized by the Department of Defense,
    particularly if used simultaneously, amount to degrading treatment in violation of
    article 7 of ICCPR and article 16 of the Convention against Torture. If in individual
    cases, which were described in interviews, the victim experienced severe pain or
    suffering, these acts amounted to torture as defined in article 1 of the Convention.
    Furthermore, the general conditions of detention, in particular the uncertainty
    about the length of detention and prolonged solitary confinement, amount to
    inhuman treatment and to a violation of the right to health as well as a violation of
    the right of detainees under article 10 (1) of ICCPR to be treated with humanity and
    with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.
  6. The excessive violence used in many cases during transportation, in
    operations by the Initial Reaction Forces and force-feeding of detainees on hunger
    strike must be assessed as amounting to torture as defined in article 1 of the
    Convention against Torture.
  7. The practice of rendition of persons to countries where there is a substantial
    risk of torture, such as in the case of Mr. Al Qadasi, amounts to a violation of the
    principle of non-refoulement and is contrary to article 3 of the Convention against
    Torture and Article 7 of ICCPR.
  8. The lack of any impartial investigation into allegations of torture and illtreatment and the resulting impunity of the perpetrators amount to a violation of
    articles 12 and 13 of the Convention against Torture.

At the time the UN was busy not condemning the US for an entire illegal war instead. :frowning:


Depends, as ever, on what you mean by “the UN”.


“We find this war illegitimate and illegal but won’t actually take any steps to sanction the U.S. for waging it or continuing to commit crimes against humanity in extrajudicial detainment centers” was still a pretty weaksauce response.


If you mean the Security Council, it is structurally incapable of taking action against permanent members because they have the power of veto.


Still, I think a UN condemnation should mean something more than Kofi Annan’s opinion, however correct it might have been. Was there ever at least a report like this?


The UN’s big problem is that its ability to confront member states is constrained by its accountability to its member states.


Why is this shocking? People have been screaming about the abomination that is Gitmo for at least 20 years. We all knew it was a violation of human rights and basic decency. The question is, will anything be done about it finally? Obama promised he would shut it down, but couldn’t, because reasons.


I don’t get it. What’s the shocking part? That someone finally acknowledged it? That it took this long for it to be acknowledged when it was so fucking obvious?




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