Guantanamo Bay: The log in America`s eye  

by | Jan 18, 2022 | International, Local News | 0 comments


US continues to run world`s most torturous prison with no shame but tries to lecture world on human rights

Hosia Mviringi

“The United States of America’s Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp where detainees are tortured mercilessly and kept up to 20 years without trial or justice is the worst scandal of the century. Silence of International Community is deafening. It’s blatantly immoral and must be stopped.”

These were the words of condemnation by South African cleric Reverend Frank Chikane, as he bemoaned the ongoing human rights violations of detainees at the hands of the United States interrogators at Guantanamo Bay.

Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp is located at the US Naval base which is on the coast of Guantanamo Bay in South-eastern Cuba.

The camp was constructed in phases in 2002, with a specific purpose to hold Islamic Militants and suspected terrorists captured in Afghanistan, Iraq and in other places such as Syria and Tunisia by US forces.

The camp became an instant international hit as it attracted unfavourable attention due to the controversial interrogation methods employed on detainees.

Human and legal rights violations of detainees have since then courted international attention as violations of the Geneva Conventions against torture and abuse of detainees continue unabated.


Exactly 20 years ago this week, the first prisoners trooped into the US Camp of shame, spurred by the ruthless command of the then US President George Bush’s War on Terror.

Of the more that 780 prisoners detained there since the 2001 September 11 bombing of the Twin towers, at least 731 have either been transferred elsewhere or released while 39 remain detained at the notorious camp.

Nine inmates have lost their lives in detention at Guantanamo due to varying reasons which include torture.

Some of the inhuman methods of interrogation employed by the US at Guantanamo Bay include the condemned water boarding which subjects the subject to extreme suffering under water.

The Central Intelligence Agency, Defence Intelligence Agency and various arms of the US Army have committed serious offences on detainees while administering various interrogation methods.

Enhanced interrogation, which is a euphemism of a deliberate program of systematic torture of prisoners, some very innocent and young, included such horrible acts as severe beatings, binding in concorted stress positions, holding, subjection to deafening noise, sleep deprivation, deprivation of food, drink and medication, walling, sexual humiliation, subjection to extreme heat or cold among other inhuman techniques continue to be administered on detainees.

Despite the United States of America presenting itself as an embodiment and epitome of human rights, democracy and fair treatment of all persons including prisoners, have continued to perpetrate these human rights violations with impunity.

It is the same United States which acts as world policeman when it comes to human rights and rule of law to the extent of imposing punitive sanctions on other nations for acts perceived to be in violation of the Geneva Convention on Human rights.

Yet in their own backyard unimaginable violations of human rights continue to happen.

Guantanamo Bay is just but a tip of an iceberg to grander human rights violations worldwide in such sites as Bagram, Abu Graib and Bucharest, all these committed under the watch of the United Nations and many other Human Rights Advocacy bodies.

The camp has been repeatedly condemned by various international human rights bodies such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International Committee of the Red Cross, the European Union and the Organisation of American States.

Yet, all of these organisations have fallen short of condemning and recommending the US for indictment at the Hague for Crimes against Humanity, in which category they fit perfectly.

“Guantanamo Bay is still the human rights and rule of law disaster that it has always been. It continues to be a moral stain on our country,” said J. Wells Dixon, an attorney with the Centre for Constitutional Rights in the US who has represented Guantanamo detainees in their struggle for freedom and fair treatment.

Of course it still remains to be seen when, if ever the US is going to be indicted for crimes against humanity. Accusations against the US are genuine and sound as the country retains a blame worthy record of gross human rights violations worldwide especially in war zones and troubled lands.


The US has continued to levy heavy penalties on peaceful countries through imposition of sanctions over flimsy allegations of human rights violations, yet they continue to perpetuate the same crimes at a grander scale with impunity.