of San Francisco
Prisoners of War
Current government policy allows foreign nationals to be held in a US military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as "enemy combatants," without charges and with no legal rights. The government plans to try them before military tribunals, where they can be sentenced to imprisonment or even death with virtually no review.
For what this means in practice, see the photos
below of men captured in Afghanistan being transported, hooded and hog-tied,
in military aircraft to Guantanamo Bay.
Approximately 660 men from Arab, Muslim, and South Asian countries continue to be held incommunicado at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay. The Bush administration says they are not covered by the Geneva Convention, which would entitle them to refuse interrogation.
Some are being questioned up to 16 hours a day, with basic comforts withheld if they refuse to cooperate. Nor are they entitled to fundamental American legal rights, because they are imprisoned on Cuban soil. Only 64 of them have been sent home, among them three children held for almost two years who were between the ages of 13 and 15 on release. The total number of prisoners under 18 is not known, as the military classifies 16 and 17 year old prisoners as adults.
Until the middle of 2003, thirty-two attempted suicides were reported. The military authorities then reclassified attempted suicide as "manipulative self-injurious behavior," of which there have been 40 incidents in the last six months. More than a fifth of the inmates are on antidepressants, some involuntarily. The grim reality of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay is causing mounting outrage by defense lawyers, legal scholars, and human rights activists around the world
Other SF Gray Panthers articles relating to Guantanamo: