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USA: holding human rights hostage

Amnesty International USA, USA
Jan. 6, 2004 Press Release • Thursday January 8, 2004

Two years after the first inmates arrived in the US military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Camp X-Ray and its successor, Camp Delta, have become synonymous with a government’s pursuit of unfettered executive power and disregard for the rule of law. As detainees enter their third year held in tiny cells for up to 24 hours a day without any legal process, it seems that the current US administration views human dignity as far from non-negotiable when it comes to “national security”.

According to the USA’s National Security Strategy, “America must stand firmly for the non-negotiable demands of human dignity”, including “the rule of law” and “limits on the absolute power of the state”. Its National Strategy for Combating Terrorism concludes by saying much the same thing, and adds: “We understand that a world in which these values are embraced as standards, not exceptions, will be the best antidote to the spread of terrorism. This is the world we must build today”.

Instead the USA built a prison camp in Guantnamo Bay and filled it with detainees from around the world, including a number of children.

For more information on the situation of prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay, please see:

Guantanamo Bay: a human rights scandal (action page)

USA: Holding human rights hostage (feature)

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