Peace and Justice: The problems with Guantanamo Bay and its practices

Advocating for human rights is ensuring all human beings are being treated fairly and justly. A human rights issue incorporates all people from American to Middle Eastern, young to old, and innocent to guilty; all people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Guantanamo Bay is a naval base and prison in Cuba that violates human rights.

After the 9/11 attacks in 2001, President Bush opened Guantanamo Bay to hold “Enemy Combatants.” An Enemy Combatant is anyone suspected of terrorism or terrorist activities. Out of the 779 Middle Eastern men imprisoned there, only 3 have been found to be guilty. These men were taken from their homes without proof of any terrorist involvement. The American government offered up to $5,000 to anyone who turned in a suspect, so many of the informers turned out to be individuals seeking the large reward. Today, 91 men are still held at Guantanamo Bay, and 34 of these men have been cleared for release since 2009. This means 34 men have been unjustly sitting in prison for nearly seven years.

So what is the problem? Isn’t the prison keeping the United States safe? The major issue with Guantanamo Bay is that the prisoners are not given equal or fair rights. All people deserve human rights, even “enemies” of the United States.

On May 30, 2005, the Justice Department declared the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” to be “justified in the interests of the US,” and accordingly, the “5th amendment does not apply to aliens outside of the US.” If these men are guilty, then why can’t the US perform a fair trial? And why are they held over 6 years after they were cleared for release? These prisoners are tortured and deprived of basic necessities, the Justice Department is not afraid to hide that. It is important to advocate for all human rights, and detaining and torturing people violates their dignity.

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