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Human Rights Groups Demand Closure of U.S. Guantanamo Detention Center on Prison's Fifth A

...Prison's Fifth Anniversary~Interview with Jennifer Daskal, U.S. advocacy director with Human Rights Watch, conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
Human Rights Groups Demand Closure of U.S. Guantanamo Detention Center on Prison's Fifth Anniversary

Interview with Jennifer Daskal, U.S. advocacy director with Human Rights Watch, conducted by Scott Harris

Jan. 11th marks the fifth anniversary of the opening of the Bush administration's detention center at the U.S. Naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Nearly 400 prisoners are being held there without charge or the ability to challenge their detention in federal court. Many of the men in Guantanamo were turned over to the U.S. by rival clan members or bounty hunters in Afghanistan who received payment for their captives. Three prisoners committed suicide at the facility last June and at least 40 others have tried to take their lives.

After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2004 that these so-called enemy combatants could challenge their detention in U.S. courts, President Bush worked with the GOP-controlled Congress to pass legislation in 2006 that revoked that right and prohibited the prisoners from seeking redress regarding maltreatment and torture.

Now with the Democrats in control of the House and U.S. Senate, human rights groups are calling on legislators to restore these prisoner's basic right to habeas corpus and receive due process under law. A delegation of the group Code Pink Women for Peace, including the mother of a slain U.S. soldier, Cindy Sheehan, former prisoners and family members of detainees, traveled to Cuba to hold a protest at the gates of Guantanamo. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke Jennifer Daskal, U.S. advocacy director with Human Rights Watch, who explains why her group is demanding the closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison.

Contact Human Rights Watch at (212) 290-4700 or visit their website at www.hrw.org.

Related links:

Code Pink Women for Peace at www.codepink4peace.org

Amnesty International at www.amnesty.org

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