One detention policy that still baffles me till this day, is that of the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Gitmo). For one, in 1898 the authoritative nation over this area became controversial- Cuba retained ultimate sovereignty while the US had complete jurisdiction (Lipman, 2018). Therefore, one would raise the concern over its constitutional rights.
According to further research, Gitmo has been used over and over again to illegally detain prisoners. For instance, in 1945 US officers jailed Cuban employee for stealing a few hundred dollar’s worth of cigarettes for two weeks without trial (Lipman, 2018). Additionally, in the 1990s, the Coast Guard detained thousands of Haitians fleeing political unrest- they were denied asylum and sent home. These stories bring us to the aftermath of 9/11, where Gitmo was used as a detention center for some of the most ‘notorious’ masterminds behind the terror attacks of 9/11.
What’s baffling is that as of January 2018, there were still at least 40 men imprisoned there, well over 16 years, has not had a trial yet due to logistical and security delays (The Washington Post, 2018). Granted these are men accused of orchestrating one of the most devastating terror attacks of our time, yet they are being tortured- where one can assume human nature allowing a tiresome man to just confess to end torture. Lawyers for 11 of those detained filed court papers arguing that the decision not to consider resettlement or alternate arrangements for detainees who have not been charged violates their due process rights (The Washington Post, 2018).
I wholesomely do not agree to torture or such yearly long detention sentences without even the permission of a fair trial. Granted, I once did not believe that terrorists should be allowed that constitutional right to a fair trial – yet, this is the territorial jurisdiction of the US and my fellow classmates have persuaded me to believe that a fair trial will uncover necessary information that can strengthen our counteractions.
Lipman, J. (December 11, 2018). 5 things to know about guantanamo bay on its 115thbirthday. Military Times. Retrieved from https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2018/12/11/5-things-to-know-about-guantanamo-bay-on-its-115th-birthday/
The Washington Post. (Jan 18, 2018). Guantanamo’s indefinite detainees, held without charge or trial, will die there unless court intervenes: Lawyers. South China Morning Post. Retrieved from https://www.scmp.com/news/world/united-states-canada/article/2127895/guantanamos-indefinite-detainees-held-without-charge