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Guantanamo Bay And Human Rights Violations By The United States

1743 words - 7 pages

Introduction
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is originally a naval base that was once used to house detention facilities for Haitian and Cuban refugees fleeing to the United States. It was also used as a refueling station for Navy ships. It was then converted into a high level detention facility to house enemy troops captured in the War on Terror campaign by Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfield. It has three main camps that house the prisoners. These prisoners of war were later referred to as enemy combatants. They were excluded from the prisoner of war statutes of the Geneva Convention because of their involvement in a foreign terrorist organization and therefore earning themselves the title of ...view middle of the document...

When inmates are arrested in a foreign country, they go through intentional laws such as those who have been detained in Afghanistan by US Special Forces. Inmates at Guantanamo Bay are subjected to intense interrogation methods by military and civilian personnel. Such methods are so heinous that they are labeled as torture tools by international agencies and laws are passed to prevent their use.
According to those prior detainees, inmates do not get a chance to meet or talk with a defense lawyer instead they meet with a military adviser. These military advisers usual work with the prosecution and do not have any legal training. Their chance in court is often a military tribunal which consists of the prosecution using little to no evidence to successfully label them as combatants and using what the inmates told their adviser in confidence against them. “The inmates are not offered adequate legal representation and most of the time the defense is also working against them sometimes arguing the case on behalf of the prosecution.” (Cohn, 2011) If the inmates protest during the trial, they are removed and the trial proceeds without them. They cannot appeal their cases to anyone and contact from the outside world is completely removed due to their security status as enemy combatants. The conditions that inmates live in, range from insufficient to grossly inadequate. They are clear violations of UN Standards on the housing of POWs under Geneva Convention Article III (Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, 1933). Their treatment in terms of daily living is just as cruel. Many are not able to pray because soldiers on base would remove key articles of clothing necessary for pray. Their cells do not allow natural light to filter through and sometimes inmates are placed in dark cells for periods of time.
On another note, those arrested in the United States experience protections that are not guaranteed to detainees overseas. Inmates in the prison system do not face constant harassment or torture. Most inmates serve time and are then released back into society. They are given the right to see their attorney and to file litigation if they feel their rights are being infringed. They have the right to be safe, silent, and not be tortured for information. They have the right to appeal their sentences to an appeal’s court and receive defense lawyers. In the federal prison system, solitary confinement can be labeled as torture according to the United Nations because of the deliberate isolation. In the book, United States and Torture by Cohn, the author discusses conditions in a SuperMax facility that can be related to the treatment of offenders at Guantanamo. Despite their differences, procedures at Guantanamo Bay and federal prison share some similarities. The similarities are the use of solitary confinement, the removal of inmates from their cells, also known as cell extraction, and lock downs. The treatment of prisoners in the United States...

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