Reflections of a working writer and reader
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john baker, January 14th, 2007. 3 comments. Filed under miscellaneous, politics.
The director of Amnesty speaks . . .
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We read nothing in the media of the progress of the application of democratic justice to the detainees (all of them). Why?
Five years is a long time out of anyone’s life and these people appear to be held on the basis of “guilty until proven innocent” and in conditions that do not support the application of the democratic justice that the US and UK uphold.
This is something for which I, as a UK citizen am not proud. Indeed, I find it abhorrent.
A five year anniversary is the mark of a travesty of justice and disrespect for human life and rights. Until we see these men tried in a democratic court, we can only thank God that we, as observers, have not found ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. And after five years of such incarceration, are these men now fit to stand trial?
I find it almost completely unbelievable that this can happen in my life time; that it can happen and that the world can be so aware and yet nothing seems to move to resolve this situation.
Yes, it is time to stop this outrage. It was yesterday, last week , last year and the year before…
I hope that 2007 will see this brought to a close.
Is anyone happy that a fellow human being is incarcerated in such conditions, without charges brought; without a fair and democratic trial; without the ability to defend themselves; without the ability to maintain contact with their loved ones and the reality of life?
If they are fairly found guilty of the charges brought, then justice should be promptly delivered.
If they are innocent, then they should be delivered to freedom, just as promptly. And just like the Naziism seen before and during the second world war, we should learn from this and never allow it to happen again.
The most important thing is that all have a right to defend themselves against charges brought; that all have a right to be tried on evidential facts. Without that, kangeroos are everywhere on our horizons. We who make up the human race need to remind those amongst us who have forgotten this. Each person’s life in limbo appears to need the result of the next election. And that is wrong. Justice is above politics.
jb says: Well, justice should be above politics. But it obviously isn’t in relation to Guantanamo. When I was at school we were taught that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. And that justice was about a fair trial and the ability to be able to defend oneself. Do teachers these days, in the UK and in the USA teach something different? Or are they supposed to lie to our children?
Oddly, I don’t remember being taught that at school, but I do feel it was embedded in my being at an early age from somewhere. I am too far removed to know what is taught in schools these days, if anything, in relation to our courts and justice.
I sometimes feel that I have lost touch with Amnesty Intl, but not on this occasion. Every word hit home and materialised my worries about what exists and should end.
Sadly, through the media as well, we experience conditioning. Something of initial outrage becomes familiar over time and continued reporting and leads on to acceptability. The same could be said for MRSA in UK hospitals – initial outrage followed by familiarity over time, followed by a report this week that hospitals “may” not be able to meet government targets for eradication. When first outraged, would you ever have imagined this would sink into some level of acceptability? A level that says, “Ooh sorry, cannot meet the targets.”
This is what makes Guantanamo all the more horrific. Exposed knowledge of existence over time, with no recourse to change, makes it all the more acceptable over that period.
Luckily, some of us can still observe, realise and say: this is not acceptable.
But I don’t wish luck on anyone, here. I wish justice. Proper democratic justice.
And I’m sure you’ll agree…
jb says: Governments, to stay in office, rely on the indolence and complacency of their citizens.
Don’t they just?
I feel a swell of votes, John, and I hope it’s enough of a protest vote!
Goddamnit, I really hope!
This government, for all it aspired to, is far too removed from reality, now.
Let the votes commence…
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