INDEPENDENT NEWS

NZ Silent on Guantanamo

Published: Thu 16 Feb 2006 11:57 AM
NZ Silent on Guantanamo
By Green MP Keith Locke
Guantanamo Bay is a symbol not only of the Bush administration’s abuse of human rights, but also its global power.
At Guantanamo Bay, former combatants are denied the status of prisoners of war, in defiance of the Geneva Conventions.
At Guantanamo Bay, those accused of terrorist crimes are detained for years without charge, in defiance of habeous corpus and the right to a fair trial.
At Guantanamo Bay, prisoners are regularly subject to sleep deprivation, physical stress and partial drownings – all illegal forms of torture. Add to that the psychological abuse and the denigration of Islam.
Yet how many governments have openly criticised the Bush administration for the obscentity of Guantanamo Bay? Very few.
New Zealand has been virtually silent. The subtext is that it’s better to be on the side of the superpower. It’s safer to join the chorus against Iranian clerics or Hamas than mention Guantanamo Bay.
But Guantanamo can’t be ignored. It’s the elephant in the living room – and an acid test of whether you really stand for justice and human dignity.
That’s they way the Greens see it, in New Zealand and around the world.
ENDS

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