[Updated with photos, 1/13/12] Today, January 11, 2012, marks the tenth year of existence of the detention center at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Ten years ago, twenty men arrived there and were held in Camp X-Ray, a temporary camp of open-air 6’x8’ cells made of chain link fence...
On January 11, 2012, ten years after the first detainees were brought to Guantánamo, demonstrations took place across the globe to protest the continued existence of the prison camp that has come to symbolize torture and indefinite detention. From Washington DC all the way to San Francisco, across the ocean to London, Paris, and Brussels, hundreds of protestors marched, demonstrated and chanted slogans, demanding justice for the men at Guantánamo.
January 11, 2012 marks the ten-year “anniversary” of the first detainees imprisoned at the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Today, nearly 170 men remain in Guantanamo--incarcerated without ever having been tried for a crime, yet living in severe conditions and cut off from their families and communities. Many have survived torture and abuse at the hands of their American captors. They do not know when, if ever, they will leave the prison. It is time to close Guantanamo and stop this illegal and immoral practice.
This December marks the 10-year anniversary of the “Convoy of Death.” During Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, 2,000 prisoners who had surrendered to the US and the Afghan Northern Alliance were shot or suffocated to death in sealed truck containers while being transferred by Northern Alliance forces. The dead prisoners – some of who had been tortured - were then buried in a mass grave in a northern Afghanistan desert at Dasht-e-Leili.
At the recent Republican debate, the presidential candidates were asked if waterboarding is torture. Their answers were shocking, in more ways than one. Even if Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman hadn’t blown the curve, everyone else would have failed the human rights test miserably.