What Washington is doing at its notorious prison at the Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base in Cuba “is a complete violation of international law,” says Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of Pan-African News Wire.
The Guantanamo Bay prison is “a camp which is on occupied Cuban territory [because] Cuba is a sovereign country [and] the United States has a naval base there,” said Azikiwe in a phone interview with Press TV on Thursday. “On that base, they are holding prisoners illegally.”
“These people have been subjected to no due process and this should be an issue that not only human rights organizations should be concerned about but also those within the United States Congress. The United States Congress should immediately pass a resolution closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay,” he added.
While a new US congressional deal, which still has to be approved by both chambers on Capitol Hill, seeks to ease restrictions on sending Guantanamo prisoners home, defense lawyers and rights advocates say it “does not close Guantanamo or anything close.”
Shutting down Guantanamo was a central theme of US President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008.
The Guantanamo prison in southeastern Cuba holds over 160 men seized during the US military’s “counter-terrorism” operations. Most of the prisoners have been held without charge or trial for more than a decade.
“There is absolutely no legal or security basis for” holding prisoners at Guantanamo, Azikiwe said.
On Thursday, Marine Major General Michael Lehnert, the US general who opened the prison, also said that opening Guantanamo was a mistake and that it should be shut down because the prison complex “validates every negative perception of the United States”.
Azikiwe also referred to the force-feeding of the Guantanamo prisoners who went on a hunger strike earlier this year and called it “a blatant violation of human rights.”
“It is also a situation where people do not have any fundamental rights to defend themselves [or] to have evidence presented against them and this is being carried out by a country that claims to be a beacon in the leadership of international law,” he pointed out.
Source: Press TV