NOTHING OF CYBERSPACE - this virtual reality in which we now
are taking part ...
A legal black hole
Guantanamo: A legal black hole
British appeals court has stated that the detentions contravenes
fundamental principles of international law and refers to
Guantanamo as a legal black-hole.
It is two years since the Guantanamo prison camp opened.
Its purpose is to hold people seized in the 'war on terror'
and defined by the Bush administration as 'enemy combatants'
- though many appear to have been bystanders to the conflict.
Images of Camp Delta's orange-suited, manacled detainees have
provoked international outrage. But the real horror they face
isn't physical hardship, it is the threat of infinite confinement,
without trial, and without access to legal representation
or to relatives.
Some 660 are still in detention at Guantanamo, including
an undisclosed number of children. Only to men has has yet
been charged. Several world human rights watchdogs, including
Amnesty International, have appealed to Washington to either
release the detainees or press charges against them.
the Third Geneva Convention any captured belligerent whose
status is uncertain should be considered and treated as a
Prisoner of War until their status is settled by a 'competent
tribunal'. Defining the Guantanamo prisoners as 'enemy combatants'
the US administration ignores international law. It fails
to articulate a clear legal framework which it applies to
the detainees and which acknowledges their human rights and
the governments obligation to respect them. The administration
has instead selectively invoked those rules of war that it
finds helpful in detaining and interrogating individuals
such as the authority to hold combatants without charge until
the end of hostilities while ignoring other rules that
safeguard combatants such as those that require individual
determinations of their legal status.
A vaguely framed war on terror without a clear end
means that the detainees could effectively be held forever.
In human terms, prolonged and indefinite detention can have
a devastating psychological impact on detainees. The International
Committee of the Red Cross has witnessed the harmful psychological
impact of the uncertainty of their open-ended internment.
Indeed, thirty-four suicide attempts have been recorded at
planned military commissions will violate defendants
rights in several ways. Under the rules, the President, through
his designees, serves as prosecutor, judge, jury, and, potentially,
executioner. There is no appeal to an independent civilian
court, violating a fundamental precept of international law
as well as settled practice in the US military justice system.
In addition, important legal issues that arise during a trial
will not be decided by an independent body, but by the same
military entity that initially approved the charges against
the detainee. As for the trial itself, the rules do not ensure
that a suspect can see all evidence against him leaving
him in the extraordinary position of having to defend himself
in the dark.
A federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled that
US courts have jurisdiction to hear claims from detainees
at Guantanamo, and affirmed the crucial role that courts play
in preventing the executive from running roughshod over individual
rights. The Court noted: Under the governments theory,
it is free to imprison [detainees] indefinitely along with
hundreds of other citizens of foreign countries, friendly
nations among them, and to do with
as it will, when it pleases, without any compliance with any
rule of law of any kind
Hard fought gains in international law and protections
for basic human rights will be undermined along with the rights
of these detainees. The US administrations unwillingness
to respect basic rights and to provide any legal process has
undermined the rule of law and given a green light to other
governments to justify rights violations in the name of some
definition of counter-terrorism.
International : Guantánamo Bay: a human rights scandal
| ~ | Human
Rights Watch: Guantanamo | ~ | ICRC
: Guantanamo Bay | ~ | World
News : Guantanamo | ~ | The
Guardian : People the law forgot | ~ | Washington
Post : U.S. Decries Abuse but Defends Interrogations |
~ | http://www.nsgtmo.navy.mil/
former featured nothings
ACTIVE NOTHING OF TERROR AND RESPONS - the World Trade Center
- Afghanistan and on ...
AT ROOSEUM, Malmö's Center for Contemporary Art, 3 November
- 16 December, 2001. works by 35 artists exploring notions
of invisibility, imagination and dematerialisation ...
EVERY TENT; THE OTHER!
- consisting of two Irish green, empty tents, one raised outside
Atelier 35 in Bucharest, and one inside the gallery space
HYPER-METAPHOR; UK, RAISING TENTS
- containing, among other things, a motorway, ten tents, a
text discussion and an internet diary ...
suggestions is gratefully accepted!