Monday, September 14, 2009

New Rights; for "old" Afghan Detainees

VOA News - New Rights for Afghan Detainees

Straight from Washington D.C., Voice of America published this report which some may say what the heck? We do not want another "Gitmo" on our hands!! Perhaps its time we make sure that does not happen again. Apparently, the government has stood up and taken notice. Whats happened is that officially, each detainee at
Bagram Air Base is now going to be appointed a representative to represent them before a military commission when they are detained. According to Voice of America:

"The officials would not be lawyers, but would, for the first time, gather evidence and witnesses to help the detainees dispute their detention before a military-appointed review board.

Some of those being held at Bagram have been there for as long as six years.

Unlike detainees at the Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba, those in Afghanistan have had no access to attorneys, no right to hear the allegations against them and only basic reviews of their status as "enemy combatants."

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman says each detainee will now have the right to be heard within 60 days of his arrival at the center.

"It is basically a review procedure that insures people go in front of a panel periodically, very early on in their detention, and then periodically to give them the opportunity to contest their detention [and] for an assessment to be made as to whether or not they warrant being held," Whitman said."

This is good from a human rights perspective. Its true there are some very very bad people being held at that detention center, but how can we hold the world responsible for human rights, when we do not hold the standards ourselves; this is only logical because the rest of the world watches the US very closely.


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