Tuesday, November 18, 2008

UC Berkeley Study: Guantanamo And Its Aftermath

UC Berkeley Human Rights Center and International Human Rights Law Clinic, in partnership with the nonprofit Center for Constitutional Rights, released Guantanamo and Its Aftermath (PDF). This in-depth, two-year study "opens a window onto the plight of detainees, from arrest and imprisonment to the return home." From the press release:

The report ... reveals in graphic detail the cumulative effect of Bush Administration policies on the lives of 62 released detainees. Many of the prisoners were sold into captivity and subjected to brutal treatment in U.S. prison camps in Afghanistan. Once in Guantanamo, prisoners were denied access to civilian courts to challenge the legality of their detention. Almost two-thirds of the former detainees interviewed reported having psychological problems since leaving Guantanamo.

Of the more than 770 detainees who have endured Guantanamo since it opened in 2002, more than 500 have been released without formal criminal charges or trial. So far, of the 250 or more who remain in detention, only 23 have been charged with a crime. Two have been convicted and one has pled guilty.

The authors warn that such a commission should not be undercut by the issuance of pardons, amnesties, or other measures that would protect those culpable from accountability. President-Elect Barack Obama has called for the closure of Guantanamo. The UC Berkeley report asks for even broader remedies.

"We cannot sweep this dark chapter in our nation's history under the rug by simply closing the Guantanamo prison camp," Stover said."The new administration must investigate what went wrong and who should be held accountable."

That's what I'm talkin' about. Been talkin' about. Go Bama Close GitMo.

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