US: Don't Send Guantanamo Detainees Home to Torture and Abuse
Authorities in Tunisia mistreated two former Guantanamo detainees who were sent home in June despite Tunisia's pledge to the US government that it would treat them humanely, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Tunisian government is now holding both men, Abdullah al-Hajji Ben Amor and Lotfi Lagha, in prison; the men have told those who visit them that things are so bad they would rather be in Guantanamo, Human Rights Watch said.Of course, the notion they're treated better in Guantanamo still seems to escape one HRW nincompoop.
"Closing Guantanamo provides the United States one of the best opportunities to help rebuild its moral authority and international good will," said Jennifer Daskal, senior counterterrorism counsel for Human Rights Watch. "Washington should not squander that chance by forcibly repatriating detainees to countries with known records of torture and abuse."OK, so we should close Club Gitmo, according to Daskal. But if we do, these scumbags go back to a place even worse. Wouldn't it make sense to keep these beasts locked up there, where they're receiving better than average treatment?
The 43-page report, "Ill-fated Homecomings: A Tunisian Case Study of Guantanamo Repatriations," describes the experiences of the two Tunisians returned home 11 weeks ago and urges the US government to set up a process that would give detainees advance notice of their transfer, and allow them the opportunity to contest it before a federal court if they fear torture or ill-treatment upon return to their home countries.Just imagine the howls if any of the alleged treatment were perpetrated by the U.S. Of course, lack of such treatment never stopped many of the left from just fabricating abuses anyway.
Ten Tunisian detainees remain at Guantanamo, and at least eight of them were convicted in Tunisia of crimes in absentia.
On June 18, US authorities flew al-Hajji, a 51-year-old father of eight, and Lagha, a 38-year-old from a remote village in southern Tunisia, from Guantanamo to Tunis and handed them over to the Tunisian security forces. The US had held both men in Guantanamo for approximately five years without ever charging either with a crime.
During the last week of July, two Human Rights Watch researchers traveled to Tunisia to investigate the fate of these two men. While authorities declined Human Rights Watch's request to meet with the detainees, the researchers talked to their lawyer and family members who have visited them.
Al-Hajji told his lawyer that he spent his first two days back in Tunisia at the Ministry of Interior, where Tunisian security officials slapped him, threatened him with the rape of his wife and daughters, shook him awake every time he started to sleep, and coerced him into signing a paper he could not read because he needs new glasses. After signing the statement, Tunisian authorities took al-Hajji to the military court that had convicted him in absentia in 1995 on charges of participating in a foreign terrorist organization abroad.
An example of what purportedly occurs in Tunisia.
Detainees report a range of methods of physical and mental forms of torture and ill-treatment. Most common, according to human rights lawyers and organizations, are sleep deprivation; threats to rape the detainee or women family members; beatings, especially on the soles of the feet (falaka), using fists, kicks, and sometimes clubs or electric cables; and tying and suspending detainees from the ceiling or in the “roast chicken” (poulet rôti ) position, either while fully or nearly naked, from a rod that is supported by a table at each end.Just imagine the cauterwauling from the left if we did any of that.
Previously: Gitmo Still Open For Business