[News] Cuba calls on US to stop Guantanamo torture

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Fri Jan 21 16:45:35 EST 2005


GRANMA INTERNATIONAL
Havana. January 20, 2005

STATEMENT FROM THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Cuba calls on the United States to stop
the torture of prisoners in Guantánamo

On January 19, 2005, reflecting the indignation of our
people at the atrocities committed on prisoners held at the
US Naval Base in Guantánamo, the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs presented the US governmental authorities in Havana
and Washington with a diplomatic note denouncing the
flagrant violations of human rights that the said
government is daily committing on Cuban territory illegally
occupied by the above-mentioned naval base. This
communication called for an immediate end to that
inhuman and criminal conduct.

The note reminds the US government that the atrocities
being committed on the base and the very fact of utilizing
that illegally occupied Cuban territory as a prison, is in
violation of numerous instruments of international law and
international humanitarian law, and moreover, violates the
Coal and Naval Stations Agreement signed in February 1903
by the government of the United States and the Cuban
government of that period, in conditions of inequality and
disadvantage for our country, whose independence was
circumscribed via the Platt Agreement.

According to Article II of that agreement, the US
government committed itself to doing everything necessary
to ensure that those locations should be exclusively used
as coal or naval stations and for no other objective.

It is also important to recall that when the Cuban
authorities were informed - although not consulted - of the
US government decision to transfer a group of prisoners
from the war in Afghanistan to this US military enclave in
Guantánamo, the government of the Republic of Cuba informed
national and internal opinion in a statement dated January
11, 2002, that "although the transfer of foreign prisoners
of war on the part of the government of the United States
to one of its military installations located on part of our
national territory over which we have been deprived of the
right to exercise jurisdiction is not in line with the
regulations that gave rise to that installation, we shall
not create any obstacles to the development of the
operation." Moreover, the statement highlighted that our
government had "taken note with satisfaction of public
statements from the US authorities in the context of the
prisoners receiving adequate and humane treatment."

The dramatic reality of the prisoners detained on the
Guantánamo Naval Base, reported by the media to total 550
at the present time, likewise reveals the double standards
of the US government in its hackneyed and manipulative
campaigning on behalf of human rights.

The arbitrary detention of these foreign prisoners without
the mediation of a legal trial, as well as the torture and
degrading treatment to which they are being subjected,
constitute a gross violation of human rights and numerous
international treaties and conventions, in particular, the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on
torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment.

With this hypocritical conduct, the government of the
United States has demonstrated the falsity of its own
public statements and once again has lied to the government
of the Republic of Cuba, to its own people and to the
international community by concealing the horrific acts of
torture, cruelty and humiliating and denigratory treatment
committed on prisoners detained on the Guantánamo Naval
Base, only comparable with the torture inflicted on inmates
in the prison of Abu Ghraib and other penitential
establishments in occupied Iraqi territory.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs adds its voice to the
calls and demands of the international community that the
government of the United States instantly end these
flagrant violations of prisoners that, moreover, are
being committed on illegally occupied Cuban territory.

Cuba has the total moral right afforded by an
irreproachable history in this context and the right
conferred on it to exercise sovereignty over all parts of
Cuban territory to denounce these abuses and violations
that the US government is daily committing on the detainees
on the Guantánamo Naval Base and to demand the end of these
practices that violate international law.

Havana, January 19, 2005
http://www.granma.cu/ingles/2005/enero/juev20/05declar.html

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