Sunday, January 25, 2009

Obama orders closure of Guantanamo in a year, the fate of prisoners remains unclear

A friend forwarded the following. Quite thoughtful.


I don't recall receiving too many emails regarding the closing of Guantanamo Bay Prison, which Pres. Obama signed an executive order to close within the next year.
This brings up several questions:
  • There are approx. 250 prisoners still kept at the prison, what will happen to them?
    • Of the ones who are proven guilty, what will be their fate?
    • Of the ones who are proven innocent, what will be their fate?
  • What reparations will be made to the prisoners and their families of those who were innocent all these years?
  • How many of the prisoners will receive a fair trial?
    • Will secret evidence be used?
    • Will evidence that was obtained while using (illegal forms of) torture be used?
  • Where will the innocent prisoners go?
    • The US is unwilling to offer any of them to settle in the US.
    • They have no say in where they will be sent and may be sent to countries where their families cannot join them.
    • Many of their countries of origin have revoked their citizenship/legal status and/or are unwilling to take them back
    • The US has repeatedly asked its allies to accept the prisoners, most are unwilling and the ones that are take only a few at a time.
    • Until a country is willing to host these individuals, they have to remain in confinement, which may take years (and has for some of the prisoners already released).
  • When will the international community challenge the US for using methods that go against the Geneva Conventions?
  • What will Congress do when all these issues will be given to them to sort out?
  • What is the future of the US's policies on imprisonment, extraordinary rendition, and torture?
If interested, some movies discussing this topic include:
Road To Guantanamo
Taxi to the Dark Side
OUTLAWED: Extraordinary Rendition, Torture and Disappearances in the "War on Terror"

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