The toxic legacy of Guantánamo

The 10th anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo doesn´t only symbolise the failure of the US-led so-called ‘War on terror’ to respect human rights. Obama’s unwillingness to close the prison down doesn´t only breach the most basic human rights of the 171 men still held in Guantánamo without trial or actual charge. That aside, Guantánamo leaks a toxic legacy of messages against human rights. Taken from the report GUANTÁNAMO: A DECADE OF DAMAGE TO HUMAN RIGHTS, released by Amnesty International today, these anti-human rights messages are:

  1. The whole world is the battleground in a global war in which human rights don´t apply
  2. Humane detainee treatment is a policy choice, not a legal requirement
  3. Even detentions found unlawful by the courts can continue indefinitely
  4. The rigth to a fair trial depends on where you come from and the domestic political temperature surrounding your case
  5. Justice can be manipulated to ensure the government always wins
  6. Execution is acceptable, even after unfair trial
  7. Victims of human rights violations can be left without remedy
  8. Looking forward means turning a blind eye to truth and accountability, even in the case of crimes under international law
  9. Respect for universal human rights can be discarded if they conflict with ‘domestic values’
  10. Double standards, not universal standards, are the order of the day
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