Islamic Human Rights Commission
20th January 2002
USA Tortures Prisoners Nazi Style
IHRC demands Foreign Office disengage from US Stance and Practice
IHRC has written to the British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw MP, demanding that Britain disengage from the anti-human rights stance and processes taken by the USA.
Our concerns regarding the treatment of Prisoners of War in Guantanamo Bay are compounded by reports today of appalling conditions of detention for the seven detainees interned last month and held at Belmarsh prison.
In his letter, IHRC Chairman Massoud Shadjareh states:
“The presence of British citizens amongst these men presents an opportunity for your office to take a stance in support of universal rights, by ensuring that not only is consular access granted to these men, but that the US respects international treaties and laws in their treatment of these men…”
“IHRC and many other human rights groups have long campaigned against oppressive regimes regardless of their political, confessional or ethnic make-up. Our campaign has always been to ensure that justice is restored for the victims of human rights abuses to seek redress and reconciliation, and for the perpetrators of oppression to be tried for their crimes. The current actions of the US only further confirm in the eyes of many around the world that the standards it regularly criticizes other countries for flouting are of no consequence to them in their own actions.”
IHRC notes that the pictures released today of men being shackled, gagged, blindfolded with taped over goggles, masked and forced to kneel are reminiscent of the treatment meted out in concentration camps. This is the type of action that Nazis would be proud of, and as such not something the British government should support. The controversy over the treatment of the seven detainees in London indicates a relentless slavish adherence to American practice and policy by the British with as little regard for human rights and justice. It is particularly poignant as we approach Holocaust Remembrance Day that when we state ‘Never Again’ this should be all inclusive.
In urging the British government to improve its own standards and break from US policy and practice, IHRC’s letter concludes:
“We hope that your office will consider the demands of justice and proceed in this matter according to the dictates of conscience and not the diktat of Washington.”
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