Guantanamo Bay detention camp
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Yemenis wearing orange jumpsuits, similar to those worn by prisoners at the US detention centre in Guantanamo Bay, hold a protest demanding the release of inmates on hunger strike. Photo: AFP

How they see it

Guantanamo Bay hunger strike


1. The New York Times

The prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba … mocks American standards of justice by keeping people imprisoned without charges … As of Tuesday, 100 of the 166 inmates are participating in a hunger strike against their conditions and indefinite detention. If Barack Obama is serious about moving toward closure, there are two steps proposed by the American Civil Liberties Union ... He could appoint a senior official "so that the administration's Guantanamo closure policy is directed by the White House and not by Pentagon bureaucrats" … and he could order Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel to start providing legally required waivers to transfer detainees who have been cleared. New York


2. The Guardian

Guantanamo still stains every country that colludes in its continued existence, including the UK ... Indeed it weakens co-operation with allies. And it still serves as a recruitment tool for extremists. A country that fails to try those accused of planning or committing terrorists acts in its civilian courts is a society that admits defeat. A country that detains people without charge because it knows that any charges would be thrown out of a proper court is no different, in its behaviour to these inmates, from dictatorships ... It has taken a mass hunger strike ... to bring this issue to a head. The situation inside the prison is unsustainable, and it is long past time for all of America's politicians to admit it. London


3. Gulf News

For more than a decade, the US has immorally and illegally detained hundreds, who were deemed "enemy combatants", at its offshore gulag. For six years, Barack Obama has vowed … to shut the prison ... It is still a festering scab on the US and an indelible blight on its human rights record. The very nature of the camp is that it was set up offshore to deprive detainees of their most basic legal rights. There, under strict military discipline and conditions bordering on inhumane, they were tortured, deprived of their rights of bail, the right to speedy trial, the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty and the right to the normal and natural standards of justice … This time, President Obama, act. Enough of words. Dubai

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: How they see it