Amnesty International report denounces US abuses of human rights
By Chris Marsden
World Socialist Web Site
Amnesty International has called on the Bush administration to close its prison camp at the US Navy base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, calling it “the gulag of our time.”
The human rights group’s Secretary General Irene Khan called for the closure of the infamous institution, where about 540 men have been detained for as long as three years, most without trial, purely on suspicion of having links to the Taliban regime or Al Qaeda. The “gulag” refers to the camps run by the Stalinist regime in the former USSR, where it kept thousands of political prisoners.
Khan was speaking at a press conference to launch Amnesty’s 308-page annual report for 2004, which accuses the United States and its main ally Britain of betraying the cause of human rights in pursuit of the so-called “war on terror.”
“Not a single case from some 500 men has reached the courts,” Khan said.
She accused Washington and London of both perpetrating and condoning acts of torture. “A new agenda is in the making, with the language of freedom and justice being used to pursue policies of fear and insecurity. This includes cynical attempts to redefine and sanitise torture,” said Ms. Khan.
US troops have committed appalling torture and sexually abused detainees, Kahn said, and evidence has since come to light “that the US administration had sanctioned interrogation techniques that violated the UN Convention against Torture.” “The US administration attempted to dilute the absolute ban on torture through new policies and quasi-management speak such as ‘environmental manipulation,’ ‘stress positions’ and ‘sensory manipulation’...
US press takes umbrage at Amnesty's "gulag" charge
Amnesty International 2005 Annual Report: The State Of Human Rights