Helping the victims of Guantanamo
Since opening eight years ago, the Guantanamo Bay detention camp has constituted an insidious attack and an affront to humanity and a major setback for international law, which failed to uphold its principles against the American administration's indifference to the many voices decrying its violations.
Under the pretext of fighting the “war on terror”, prisoners were subject to different types of abuse and torture, various types of humiliation and distress as well as neglect and deprivation. However, the attack on justice did not end at this low point: it went further with the classification of prisoners outside of the standards provided in humanitarian law, denying Guantanamo prisoners the slightest legal and judicial protections guaranteed to prisoners even in the American constitution.
Pressure and campaigns demanding justice for Guantánamo prisoners by the media and human rights activists directly led to the release and return of 50% of prisoners to their countries as innocent men who have reintegrated into their local communities. The stigma of terrorism, however, remains attached to them making it hard for them to find work and live a normal life.
Most of the prisoners who have been released from Guantanamo Bay have agreed to work with us to support each other to prepare and implement rehabilitation and reintegration activities and programmes, to work to establish their complete innocence against the accusations made by the American administration, to obtain monetary and non-monetary compensation appropriate to the level of abuse they have faced, and to seek the release of the remaining prisoners in Guantánamo Bay, providing support to their families and communities in cooperation with human rights activists.
This pressing desire has led to the creation of the Guantanamo Justice Centre, a humanitarian foundation that aims to support and protect the rights of Guantánamo Bay victims, established in Geneva in 2009. An office will also be set up in London and major cities in countries that have welcomed Guantánamo returnees.
Former Guantanamo prisoners are the founder members of the orgnaisation.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank international and local human rights organisations and lawyers who have stood by us and people all around the world who wish to continue seeking justice for our just cause and freedom for the remaining prisoners.
Guantanamo Justice centre - Rebuilding Shattered Lives
London, Thursday 30 July 2009