News / USA

    Guantanamo’s 10th Anniversary Marked by Protests

    Meredith Buel

    A coalition of human rights groups is marking the 10th anniversary of the first detainees being jailed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba by demonstrating in front of the White House and calling on President Barack Obama to close the controversial facility. 

    Hundreds of demonstrators marched in a cold rain along Pennsylvania Avenue.

    They were led by protesters in black hoods and orange jump suits, representing the 171 detainees still held at the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

    Tom Parker, with Amnesty International, said “Guantanamo has been open 10 years too long. It is not keeping anybody safe. It is only open really now because of domestic politics.  It serves no real useful purpose. It is a stain on America’s reputation.”

    Of the nearly 780 detainees brought to Guantanamo over the past decade, about 600 have been released.

    Opponents of the facility say the vast majority of the remaining prisoners are not a national security threat to the United States.

    Protester Dan Burgevin has been living shackled, in a cage, across from the White House.

    “We continue this abominable program that jails people with no charge and keeps them away from their families and people that they love," siad Burgevin. "I mean we just have to ask ourselves as Americans, would we want to be treated that way?”

    Ten years ago, and just months after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, the first detainees were flown into Guantanamo.

    Images of shackled prisoners in orange jumpsuits captured in the War on Terror led to human rights groups questioning the interrogation techniques being used there.

    Some analysts that support Guantanamo refer to those held there as “hybrid warriors” and say detention of the enemy during wartime is part of a broader effort to win the conflict.

    Heritage Foundation senior legal fellow Cully Stimson:

    “You detain people not to punish them," said Stimson. "You detain people lawfully under the law of armed conflict to prevent them from taking up arms against you. You don’t want to rearm the enemy while you are trying to defeat the enemy.”

    Still, former detainees say their time spent in Guantanamo represents a dark page in the modern history of humanity.

    Moazzam Begg spent two years in Guantanamo. “And this is an anniversary of tragedy, of pain, of torment, of families ripped apart," said Begg.

    President Barack Obama promised to close the Guantanamo detention center, but Congress has blocked efforts to move the prisoners.

    The political situation has been difficult, according to Congressman Jim Moran.

    “And the political reality is that, unless the American people become better educated about this and far more forceful in terms of caring about it within the context of the democratic process, it’s not going to change," said Moran.

    Now, 10 years after the first terrorism suspects were sent to Guantanamo, protests continue.

    There is no sign the detention center will close anytime soon.

    You May Like

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora