Saturday

1st 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.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFAEFA Supports a YES Vote in the Hungarian Referendum
  2. ACCAFinTech Boom Needs Strong Guidance to Navigate Regulatory Hurdles
  3. Counter BalanceWhy the Investment Plan for Europe Does not Drive the Sustainable Energy Transition
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region Seeks to Make Its Voice Heard in the World
  5. Taipei EU OfficeCountries Voice Support for Taiwan's Participation in ICAO
  6. World VisionNew Tool Measuring Government Efforts to Protect Children Released
  7. GoogleDid You Know Europe's Largest Dinosaur Gallery Is in Brussels? Check It Out Now
  8. IPHRHuman Rights in Uzbekistan After Karimov - Joint Statement
  9. CISPECloud Infrastructure Providers Unveil Data Protection Code of Conduct
  10. EFAMessages of Hope From the Basque Country and Galicia
  11. Access NowDigital Rights Heroes and Villains. See Who Protects Your Rights, Who Wants to Take Them Away
  12. EJCAppalled by Recommendation to Remove Hamas From EU Terrorism Watch List