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And That's the Way It Is


In this article Henk discusses Obama.


GUANTANAMO DETAINEES FARCE

 article about GUANTANAMO DETAINEES FARCE
2010-01-26 04:52:42

This article belongs to And That's the Way It Is column.


As was expected, it only took the Obama administration to back-track on its commitment to legalise past illegal US processes that were taking place at the Guantanamo Bay concentration camp during the Bush era.

Since Obama came into power, a number of 'detainees' have been released or transferred to their country of origin or nationality while others will eventually be transferred to a currently unused Federal prison in Illinois to face trial, legal or otherwise.

A third group of 47 'detainees' will, according to the administration, be held indefinitely as, again this according to the US administration, there is not enough evidence to prosecute these people while they are allegedly still regarded as a threat to the US and other allied interests.

In relation to all current and former 'detainees', there are a number of things that the Obama Administration needs to remember in relation to its obligations under International laws and conventions regardless of whether or not the Americans deem themselves to be bound by such laws and conventions.

All Guantanamo 'detainees' can in effect be deemed to be POWs and the Geneva Convention and Laws of War thus apply.Those returned to their home countries and there detained can be deemed to have been the subject of 'rendition' processes, a practice illegal under international law.

The case of Australian David Hicks is a classic example. He was dispatched back to Australia and then jailed. This process was in effect illegal.

Those detained in Illinois and put on trial must be accorded full legal status in relation to their defence regardless of the status of the judicial system under which these people may be tried, keeping in mind that current US military tribunal processes these people are subjected to have no status in law.

The 47 'detainees' that are to be held indefinitely must, in law, either be tried or, if there is a lack of evidence or if evidence has been obtained by torture, be released. Keeping the 47 cooked up in a Federal jail without legal status or process is illegal under international law and something that one would expect in countries such as China, not the US.

The US should remember that it is, in all circumstances, subject to international law provisions and that human rights organisations are very organised in terms of exposing, finding and tracing human right abusers.

The International Law Compliance Forum (ILCF) these days is capable of tracking war crimes offenders and human rights abusers. The organisation has used the international investigation and arrest warrant system during the past five months in relation to a number of people and, no doubt, as its methods become more sophisticated, the ILCF will again use any legal process in order to bring offenders to justice. And this system will, according to the ILCF, include former and current US officials should such offenders venture into countries where the ILCF is able apply and deliver an apprehension warrant.

The US, in my view, would be much better served putting people through proper legal processes rather than attempting to cut the edges off its international legal obligations through processes that have no legal status.

My name is Henk Luf.
And That The Way It Is





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