Politics

The Guantanamo nightmare: The war against extradited prisoners

By Hannah Newberry

Trump has popularised several policies so far that already tilt the public interest against his government, including the abolition of Obama’s signature healthcare reforms and a controversial tax revolution to let off wealthy domestic businesses. Guantanamo remains a popular debate topic among congressional parties, including Obama who attempted to close the base down entirely. Trump however, feels that keeping Guantanamo open and ‘loading it up with some bad dudes’, is the way forward. 2017 continues to shock avid readers as prisoners begin to face death without ever seeing justice. This is the prolonging of a huge humanitarian crisis.

Residents of the base are struggling through unpopular US airstrikes and have used hunger strikes to express disgust at the egregious attitude towards the middle east. The protest has been fought with military guards required to force-feed as a temporary solution while the closure was fought for in Obama’s government. After the failed operation, the new policy permits military guards to allow prisoners to deteriorate beyond recovery, unless they are considerably near death or ‘at risk of organ failure’. This has been widely criticised as one of the most ruthless attacks on convicts since the Bush era, as Trump wilfully ignores the cries of genuine human rights violations that seek resolution. The most inexpensive solution is apathy, and it’s a travesty to see it deep within the hearts of our western leaders today.

Human rights and politics join forces as celebrities take on fasting in support of many people the system has failed to reprimand or help, including actor David Morrissey and Labour representative Tom Watson. Rabbani and Qassim are named as two of the prisoners on US soil who have been in Guantanamo for 15 years, both without sufficient evidence to be charged. Over 25 men continue to be held indefinitely. To affirm such important violations, hunger strikes have been a popular route for those who are unlikely to ever face a dignified trial.

To be denied medical attention on a basic level in the sadistic hope that their strikes are broken, the Trump administration has truly failed those the US justice system has neglected. ‘Innocent until proven guilty’ is an articulate and clear-cut way to effectively sift and prosecute suspects, and is being fundamentally rewritten one policy at a time.

This isn’t just about politics – the economic argument against the Trump administration’s actions includes that taxpayers fund Guantanamo Bay $9 million more than maximum security prisons. For cases that are not expected to ever be trialled, this is a serious amount of money to justify, especially if the money isn’t going towards treating the prisoners amicably.

Will the war on terror ever end in triumph, or is it more of a modern farce to pursue an aggressive political agenda? Mr Rabbani, the alleged Al-Qaeda member who has no prosecuting evidence against him and declares his only crime was speaking Arabic at a time when politics was ravaged with fear and religious hate, summarised the atrocity in a heart-wrenching declaration of, ‘I don’t want to die’.

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