An Ethiopian man who sought asylum in the United States had been repeatedly beaten and tortured in his home country simply for engaging in protests against the government. A young Sudanese woman who was an outspoken human rights advocate bears scars from having been burned and beaten by her torturers; she now struggles to interact with people and is afraid of enclosed spaces like subway stations.
If the Obama administration wants to successfully resolve the 'Gordian Knot' that is the Guantánamo Bay detention centre, it has to untangle it carefully with a comprehensive approach proving that indefinite detention is not needed.
In a recently released bipartisan report on detainee treatment at the detention facility in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the Constitution Project’s Expert Task Force devotes a whole chapter to the spectacular failure of medical professionals in GTMO to protect detainees from harm or injustice.
January 11, 2013, marks the 11th anniversary of the day detainees were first brought to the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The National Defense Authorization Act 2013 (NDAA) recently passed by Congress and signed by President Obama does little to shut down the Guantanamo prison, though the President had promised to close it almost four years ago.
For all the controversy over whether solitary confinement should ever be used in American prisons and jails, the evidence is clear: Isolation for 23 hours a day causes severe and often irreversible psychological damage.