15 August 2007

Detainees Want To Avoid Release From Gitmo

Some detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility who are eligible for release fear that they will be tortured once they are repatriated in their native lands.

This was supposed to be the moment Ahmed Bel Bacha was waiting for — the end of his five years in prison at Guantanamo Bay. Instead, the Algerian is fighting to stay put rather than return home.

Bel Bacha, reportedly slated to leave Guantanamo Bay soon along with three of his countrymen, fears he will be tortured back in Algeria, a country he had already fled once before to seek asylum in Britain, his lawyers say.
The problem here is that, once again, we are in a no win situation with the hand-wringing set. If we don't repatriate those detainees who are eligible for release because they would likely be tortured by the government that they would be returned to, then the U.S. is attacked for continuing to detain those individuals slated for release. On the other hand, if we do repatriate detainees to countries such as China, Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Syria, or Uzbekistan, then the U.S. is attacked for turning those detainees over to nations known to be abusive to prisoners based upon nothing more that diplomatic assurances that the repatriated detainees will not be tortured.

It is interesting, though, that some of the same groups that have called for the closure of Guantanamo's detention facility are now demanding that the U.S. not release detainees from that same facility. It also makes one wonder if the desire of those groups to have the facility closed is motivated more by a dislike of the U.S. than by any serious concern over the conditions in the facility itself.


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