Guantanamo Complies with Geneva Convention
Pam Hess for AP:
The report found the camp to be in compliance with the Geneva Conventions Common Article 3, the international rules that require the humane treatment of prisoners taken in unconventional armed conflicts, like the war on terrorism. The camp’s controversial force-feeding of prisoners on hunger strikes was also found to be compliant with the Geneva guidelines, a second government official confirmed.
William Glaberson for NYT:
The review, requested by Mr. Obama on his second day in office, is to be delivered to the White House next week. The president’s request, made as part of a plan to close the prison within a year, was widely seen as an effort to defuse accusations that there were widespread abuses at Guantánamo, and that many detainees were suffering severe psychological effects after years of isolation.
Peter Finn and Del Quentin Wilber for WaPo:
Defense attorneys for the detainees have complained bitterly about the isolation of some prisoners. They allege that over several years, it has led to mental problems for some detainees. The lawyers also have criticized the force-feeding of prisoners on hunger strike. About 40 prisoners are now on hunger strike, according to Pentagon officials.
[Adm. Patrick M. Walsh, the vice chief of naval operations] concluded that force-feeding, which involves strapping detainees to special chairs and inserting a tube through one nostril and into their stomachs, is in compliance with the Geneva Conventions’ mandate that the lives of prisoners be preserved, according to the government official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the report publicly. Walsh also found that prisoners should be allowed more communal recreation and prayer time. Prisoners in Camp 6 and the highly secret Camp 7 — which holds such high-value detainees as Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed organizer of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks — can be held in windowless cells for up to 22 hours a day. Walsh said the most isolated prisoners, including those in Camp 7, should be allowed to pray and have recess together in rotating groups of at least three for more extended periods of time.
Shockingly, everyone’s not buying it:
Civil liberties groups, including the Center for Constitutional Rights, which is about to issue a report on conditions at the prison, challenged Walsh’s findings.
“We do think conditions are in violation of U.S. obligations to treat prisoners humanely, and prisoners are at a physical and mental breaking point,” said Pardiss Kebriaei, a staff lawyer at the center. “These are not the conclusions we had hoped for under Obama. It’s very disappointing.”
Attorneys representing detainees singled out force-feeding as particularly abusive.
So, people whose job it is to have grievances are aggrieved whereas those investigating themselves are satisfied? No wonder this didn’t make the front page.