Sunday

28th May 2017

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.

Children among dead in UK bomb attack

Children are among the victims after a suspected suicide bomber detonated at the Manchester Arena on Monday, the latest in a string of terror attacks to hit Europe.

EU and US discuss in-flight laptop ban

A meeting between US and EU officials in Brussels on possibly imposing a laptop ban on commercial flights was described by one senior Trump administration official as "robust".

EU visa waiver looms for Russia-annexed Crimeans

Visa liberalisation for Ukrainians entering the EU will also apply to inhabitants of the peninsula taken over by Moscow in 2014. But the issue poses administrative as well as political problems.

US questions visa waivers for EU nationals

A Republican congressman heading a taskforce on denying terrorists entry into the United States says that EU nationals pose a security risk, as some have fought alongside jihadists and wouldn't need visas to enter the US.

EU keeps visa-free travel for US visitors

Efforts by the European Parliament to scupper visa-free travel for Americans, in light of US restrictions on some EU states, were dashed on Tuesday by the European Commission.

EU visa waiver looms for Russia-annexed Crimeans

Visa liberalisation for Ukrainians entering the EU will also apply to inhabitants of the peninsula taken over by Moscow in 2014. But the issue poses administrative as well as political problems.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFChild Alert on Myanmar: Fruits of Rapid Development yet to Reach Remote Regions
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersBecome an Explorer - 'Traces of Nordic' Seeking Storytellers Around the World
  3. Malta EU 2017Closer Cooperation and Reinforced Solidarity to Ensure Security of Gas Supply
  4. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceHigh-Intensity Interval Training Is Therapeutic Option for Type 2 Diabetes
  5. Dialogue Platform"The West Must Help Turkey Return to a Democratic Path" a Call by Fethullah Gulen
  6. ILGA-EuropeRainbow Europe 2017 Is Live - Which Countries Are Leading on LGBTI Equality?
  7. Centre Maurits CoppietersWhen You Invest in a Refugee Woman You Help the Whole Community
  8. Eurogroup for AnimalsECJ Ruling: Member States Given No Say on Wildlife Protection In Trade
  9. European Heart NetworkCall for Urgent Adoption of EU-Wide Nutrient Profiles for Nutrition & Health Claims
  10. Counter BalanceInvestment Plan for Europe More Climate Friendly but European Parliament Shows Little Ambition
  11. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi: China's Belt and Road Initiative Benefits People Around the World
  12. Malta EU 2017EU Strengthens Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Firearms