21st Oct 2016

EU urged to press US on Guantanamo

Euro-parliamentarians urged EU governments yesterday (30 September) to form a united front and protest against US President George W Bush over detainees' lack of rights in the US base in Guantanamo bay, Cuba.

Hundreds of prisoners are being held in Guantanamo - 22 are EU citizens from Britain, Spain, France, Denmark, Sweden and Germany - and are being accused of having links with the al-Qaeda terrorist network in Afghanistan.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

MEPs criticised the US for human rights abuses which are leading to dozens of suicide attempts. They are demanding that these detainees have a fair trial or be released.

"Where is the united diplomatic protest by the EU to President Bush? If the EU stopped being wimpish and spoke with one strong voice we could surely have real weight to reverse the third-class justice meted out to foreigners there", UK Liberal Democrat MEP Baroness Sarah Ludford said.

Baroness Ludford criticised the fact that US citizen John Walker Lindh was dealt with in a civil court with the protection of the US Constitution, whereas the Europeans and hundreds of non-Americans are "caught in the Catch 22 between detention without charge or a military ‘kangaroo court’".

To put pressure on the US over this issue, MEPs urged EU governments to reconsider the entry into force of the extradition agreement between the EU and US until the US solves the situation in Guantanamo.

Baroness Ludford also demanded that EU states refuse to agree to a new UN resolution on Iraq until the US releases or gives fair trials to the detainees.

The Civil Liberties Committee in the European Parliament is planning to draft a recommendation for Council, demanding that EU governments push for a fair trial for the Guantanamo prisoners.

On Tuesday families and lawyers of the detainees in Guantanamo bay gave a public hearing in the European Parliament.

MEPs expressed disappointment that the EU's foreign policy chief Javier Solana did not respond to the invitation.

News in Brief

  1. Romania drops opposition to Ceta
  2. Difficulties remain on Ceta deal, says Walloon leader
  3. Brexit could lead to 'some civil unrest' in Northern Ireland
  4. ECB holds rates and continues quantitive easing programme
  5. Support for Danish People's Party drops, poll
  6. Spain's highest court overturns Catalan ban on bullfighting
  7. Tusk: 'Concrete' migration proposals in December summit
  8. Commuters seek compensation for Swedish ID checks

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFCalls on European Council to Address Plight of Refugee and Migrant Children
  2. ECTAJoin us on 9-10 November in Brussels and Discover the new EU Digital Landscape
  3. Access NowCan you Hear me now? Verizon’s Opportunity to Stand for Global Users
  4. Belgrade Security ForumMeaningful Dialogue Missing Not Only in the Balkans, but Throughout Europe
  5. EASPDJoin the Trip! 20 Years on the Road. Conference & Photo Exhibition on 19-21 October
  6. EuropecheEU Fishing Sector Celebrates Sustainably Sourced Seafood in EU Parliament
  7. World VisionWomen and Girls Urge EU Leadership to Help end Gender-based Violence
  8. Dialogue PlatformIs Jihadism Blind Spot of Western Intellectuals ? Wednesday 26 October
  9. Belgrade Security ForumGet the Latest News and Updates on the Belgrade Security Forum @BelSecForum
  10. Crowdsourcing Week EuropeMaster Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding and Innovation! Conference 21 November - 10% Discount Code CSWEU16
  11. EJCEU Parliament's Roadmap for Relations with Iran a Massive Missed Opportunity
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersFish Skin on Bare Skin: Turning Fish Waste into Sustainable Fashion

Latest News

  1. Women shake Poland's pillars of power
  2. Malta, Latvia, and Hungary top EU obesity charts
  3. British PM asserts her role in EU 'nest of doves'
  4. Italy shields Russia from EU sanctions threat
  5. EU and Wallonia still stuck on Canada accord
  6. Dieselgate isn't my fault, says German transport minister
  7. Scotland plans independence vote before Brexit
  8. EU threatens Russia over Syria 'atrocities'