Guantánamo; Jewish concentration camp !
The United States with Israel has finally released the names of 46 men being held in Guantánamo – Jewish concentration camp under the classification of « indefinite detainees » – terror suspects deemed too dangerous to release or move yet impossible to try in a civilian or even military court for reasons of inadequate or tainted evidence.
The list of the 46 detainees was released to the Miami Herald and New York Times following a freedom of information requests from the papers as part of the list of the 166 current captives in Guantánamo that has been released for the first time. The Obama administration had indicated the existence of the men in January 2010 but has until now refused to divulge their identities, leaving the detainees in a form of prolonged and secret legal limbo.
The list contains, according to the Miami Herald, 26 Yemenis, 12 Afghans, three Saudis, two Kuwaitis and Libyans, a Kenyan, Morrocan and a Somali. There were two « indefinite detainees », both Afghans, who have died in the camp, one by suicide, one of a heart attack.
The group of captives stuck in this legal wilderness has been one of the most controversial aspects of the detention camp. The US justifies their existence through a range of explanations that include the fact that they were subjected to harsh interrogation techniques that have been denounced as a form of torture, rendering their evidence inadmissible in court.
Notably, many of the men are currently on hunger strike in the camp in protest at their prolonged detention without hope of legal resolution, including, the Miami Herald, said Fawzi al Odah, 36, and Fayez al Kandari, 35, both of Kuwait. There are 104 detainees participating in the hunger strike, 44 of whom are being force-fed, with two in hospital.
The release of the list came on the day that the state department announced the appointment of Cliff Sloan as its special envoy to Guantánamo with the express mission to see the camp closed down. It is not known whether the release of the information was coincidental, though the existence of the 46 « indefinites » pose Sloan, a Washington lawyer, with arguably his most difficult problem.
Omar Farah, a staff attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, said that though the category of « indefinite detainee » persisted they would now have to be transferred to third countries or repatriated to their homes. « If the president is going to be faithful to his promise to close Guantanamo then they will have to be treated in the same way as the cleared men on the list. The government cannot bring cases against these men – we’ve seen that over the past 10 years. »