Feb 6, 2012
In January of 2002, Guantanamo Prison was set up at a military base the U.S. maintains in Cuba. In ten years, 779 “suspects” who came from 48 countries have been locked up in an arbitrary fashion, without any proof of their links to Al Qaeda or any other terrorist organization, without knowing why they were locked up nor when they would be tried. Some were only 13 years old. They had no right to contact with the outside, and lawyers had to confront all sorts of obstacles before being able to meet their clients.
Despite being the self-proclaimed champion of freedom in the world, the U.S. government deprived them of elementary rights, and detained them in an inhumane fashion. In the beginning, they were held in metal cages outdoors, and suffered abuse of all sorts and confessions obtained through torture.
After spending years in Guantanamo without being accused or judged, some of the detainees were finally declared innocent and were freed. Today, 177 men are still locked up, including 89 considered “eligible for release” but who remain imprisoned because the government doesn’t know where to send them. On the one hand, it refused to allow them to come to the U.S., and on the other hand, even though they were innocent, given their detention, they risk being executed if they go back to their home country.
Guantanamo was set up by George Bush, under an executive order in 2002. It was maintained for seven more years by his administration and three more years by Barack Obama, who had promised to close it.
Guantanamo remains the symbol of the barbarism carried out by the U.S., which pretends to free the people of Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.