Terry Waite Accuses US Government of Using Terrorist Methods at Guantanamo

  1. Published on Friday, March 5, 2004 by the Agence France Presse
    US Using 'Terrorist' Methods Over Guantanamo Prisoners: Former Hostage Terry Waite

    LONDON - Former hostage Terry Waite, who was held in captivity by Islamic extremists for almost five years in Lebanon, said the United States was using terrorist methods in its treatment of detainees at a prison camp in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. "You do not defeat terrorism by adopting methods of terrorists," said Waite speaking alongside the families of British and French prisoners at the launch of a campaign for Guantanamo prisoners to be treated in accordance with international law.

    "I know what it's like to have no rights," Waite told a press conference the day before he and other representatives of the Guantanamo Human Rights Commission take their campaign to New York and then Washington.

    "My family know what it is like to have no information about me, even whether I am alive or dead," Waite said Friday.

    "There are many families around the world who are in this same position now because of Guantanamo Bay," he said.

    Five British detainees who are set to be freed by US authorities from Guantanamo Bay will be back in Britain next week, Maxine Fiddler, the sister of one of those to be released and also a member of the commission, said earlier Friday.

    "All that we know is that the Britons are being brought home sometime next week," she told BBC radio, adding she had not been given a specific date for her brother's return.

    The five are among nine Britons, and a total of more than 650 prisoners, at the isolated US naval base where US President George W. Bush's administration has been holding non-American suspects in its "war on terror".

    Guantanamo "detainees have been hooded, shackled and, I understand, kept in cages which in itself amounts to mental torture," Waite said. "There are reports that they have been subjected to very severe hardship in order to extract information.

    "I was blindfolded, shackled, kept in solitary confinement and interrogated," he said.

    This "should not be happening in a civilized nation", Waite said. "I have no truck with terrorism and what happened in the United States on September 11 was a terrible tragedy.

    "But I firmly believe that if you are going to deal with this problem you should follow due process," he said.

    "Some of these people may be guilty and some of them may be innocent," he added. "None of us will know unless they follow due process."

    The delegation, which includes actors and leading human rights activists Corin and Vanessa Redgrave, novelist Margaret Drabble and family members of European detainees, will submit letters to Bush at the White House on Monday.

    It will also lobby US legislators and appeal to the public about the prisoners' plight, dividing their time between New York and Washington before flying home on Thursday next week.

    The team is also planning to meet Democratic Party presidential hopeful John Kerry, who has criticized the US-led invasion of Iraq.

    "Our message is very simple," Corin Redgrave told journalists: "America has given the world a model of democracy which is founded on the rule of law, on fundamental human rights, including the right to fair trial, the right to silence." "Guantanamo offers an alternative model to the world, a model where no rights are sustained."

    Waite, 64, was held from January 1987 until November 1991 -- much of the time in solitary confinement -- by a shadowy group calling itself Islamic Jihad.

    He was kidnapped while trying to negotiate the release of Western hostages in his capacity as a special envoy for the Archbishop of Canterbury, the spiritual head of the worldwide Anglican church.

    Copyright © 2004 Agence France Presse
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from NurseHardee
    Published on Friday, March 5, 2004 by the Agence France Presse
    US Using 'Terrorist' Methods Over Guantanamo Prisoners: Former Hostage Terry Waite


    "I know what it's like to have no rights

    "My family know what it is like to have no information about me, even whether I am alive or dead," Waite said Friday.

    "There are many families around the world who are in this same position now because of Guantanamo Bay," he said.




    "Some of these people may be guilty and some of them may be innocent," he added. "None of us will know unless they follow due process."


    "Our message is very simple," Corin Redgrave told journalists: "America has given the world a model of democracy which is founded on the rule of law, on fundamental human rights, including the right to fair trial, the right to silence." "Guantanamo offers an alternative model to the world, a model where no rights are sustained."
    Copyright © 2004 Agence France Presse
    We need to wake up!

    I love my country. Just like I have to try to change my family when i believe they are doing wrong, I believe we have a responsibility to attempt to changed tha wrongful actions of our country.
  4. by   pickledpepperRN
    http://www.ncccusa.org/
    NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES (NCC), Broader Community Assert Guantanamo Detainees' Right to Due Process Under the Law

    Religious, legal and human rights organizations have joined forces in a focused, three-day campaign for granting of due process rights to the detainees held by the U.S. government at Guantanamo Bay.

    On March 8, the Rev. Dr. Robert W. Edgar, National Council of Churches General Secretary, stood with European family members of Guantanamo detainees in front of the U.S. Supreme Court (pictured, left), where they called on the United States to either charge the prisoners and afford them an opportunity to defend themselves, or release them for lack of evidence, as each case warrants.

    Respect for every person's God-given human dignity demands it, Dr. Edgar said. In the evening, the NCC joined with Peaceful Tomorrows (the 9/11 families' organization), Center for Constitutional Rights, Fellowship of Reconciliation, American Civil Liberties Union and Guantanamo Human Rights Commission - co-founded by actors Vanessa and Corin Redgrave - in a special interfaith prayer and reflection service on the theme of due process. The service was held on the occasion of International Women's Day, and in support of international rights conventions. (Photo by Rick Reinhard, Washington, D.C., for the NCC)
  5. by   pickledpepperRN
    Oscar-Winning Actress, Activist Vanessa Redgrave Calls For Justice, Legal and Human Rights For Guantanamo Prisoners
    Tuesday, March 9th, 2004
    http://www.democracynow.org/article..../03/09/1518246

    Oscar winning actress and activist Vanessa Redgrave joins us in our studio to talk about the Guantanamo Human Rights Commission which marched on the White House this week to denounce the treatment of Guantanamo prisoners and to urge President Bush to respect their legal rights.

    Five British detainees held for two years at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as terrorism suspects are due to return home today. The men - whose release was announced last month - are likely to be set free after being questioned by anti-terror police in the UK.

    The return of the remaining four British prisoners in Guantanamo is much less likely. British Home Secretary David Blunkett indicated for the first time this week that the four would probably face trial in the U.S.

    Blunkett, who is on a trip to the U.S. said the remaining four were different because they had been arrested "in the combat zone" in Afghanistan and that evidence against them would be "best used in the U.S. not in Britain." Two of them are among a small group designated for trial before military tribunal.

    For over two years more than 650 people have been detained in a legal black hole at Guantánamo Bay. They have been denied contact with their families, access to a lawyer, and the right to a hearing to determine their legal status.

    Yesterday European families of the detainees traveled to Washington to denounce the treatment of their relatives and to urge President Bush to respect their legal rights.

    The Guantanamo Human Rights Commission, made up of family members and supporters of the detainees, had hoped to meet with President Bush, but instead had to settle for a march to the White House.

    Among the family members was British citizen Terry Waite, who was held captive for almost five years by Islamic militants in Lebanon and has likened his experience to those of the Guanatanmo prisoners as well as actors Corin and Vanessa Redgrave.
    Vanessa Redgrave, joins us in our studio days before traveling to Washington with the Guantanamo Human Rights Commission <http://www.guantanamohrc.org>. Vanessa Redgrave is an Oscar-winning actress and longtime activist. During her acting career that spanned some 47 years she has served as UN goodwill ambassador and was a founding member of International Artists Against Racism.

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