Guantánamo: still waiting ....

You wait ages for one … and then two come together.

There’s overnight news that a US appeals court has ruled that an “enemy combatant” at Guantánamo is wrongly held and should be either freed, transferred or brought before a court to decide his fate. See Rook's Rant on this.

So, this comes just days after the Supreme Court specified that all GITMO prisoners should be able to challenge their detention.

All well and good, but the glacial speed of events at Guantánamo is itself a major concern.

To throw in Beckett (why not?), waiting for justice at Guantánamo is like waiting for Godot. It takes a long time. A very long time. In fact, it doesn’t seem like he/it is ever going to turn up. In fact, maybe he/it doesn’t even exist.

Like the great Beckett, this has a very dark side. We’re especially worried about Binyam Mohamed, an Ethiopian and UK resident who’s been at Guantánamo for nearly four years. According to his US military lawyer, he’s close to physical and mental breakdown. The lawyer is genuinely worried that he’s only going to leave the camp “out of his mind” or “in a coffin”.

As part of our Unsubscribe campaign we’ve got a new push to get Binyam moved out of the harsh conditions of Guantánamo’s “Camp 5”. Please click here and send an urgent appeal to foreign secretary David Miliband. This could make a difference.

Meanwhile, ever wondered how people end up in this notorious five-star prison camp in the first place? Well, secret ‘rendition’ flights courtesy of the CIA play a big part. The FT cover our big new report on renditions today – read the full story here.

So, let’s go. We can’t. Why not? We’re waiting for …..

And …just in: news that a women’s equality campaigner in Iran called Hana Abdi has been jailed for five years. And guess what? It’s officially women’s day in Iran today! Surely the Iranian authorities are displaying their cruel, darker-than-Beckett sense of humour. Aren’t they? Well, just in case they’re serious – join Amnesty's new appeal calling for Hana’s release.

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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