Guantánamo protests grow

Earlier this month, José Saramago, Nadine Gordimer, Wole Soyinka, Harold Pinter, Alice Walker, and more than 400 other writers and artists called upon the U.S. to “immediately cease using the Guantánamo Bay base as an illegal detention centre and to close all of its arbitrary detention centres where the systematic abuse of human rights and dignity are still taking place.”

But Condoleeza Rice, greeted by protesters on a trip to Britain over the weekend, refused to specify a date for closing the prison camp, where nearly 500 foreign citizens are being held without the protections of the Geneva convention or the U.S. justice system.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military still has not returned 25,000 lines of verse that Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost wrote during his three years of captivity at Guantánamo Bay.

The satires delighted fellow inmates, who passed them from cage to cage using a pulley system fashioned from prayer cap threads. Some even passed Dost their two-sheet paper allowance so he could write some more. But invariably the poems were confiscated during cell searches.

Early last year Dost was brought before a military tribunal — which he describes as a show trial — and then flown back to Afghanistan in shackles, with 16 other detainees. The US military said he was “no longer an enemy combatant”. Dost was allowed to keep his final sheaf of poems and was told the rest would be returned on arrival at Bagram airbase, near Kabul. But they were not, and he was set free without apology or compensation.

(Last link via Moorish Girl.)


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