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Or: Democracy, Lovely Democracy

Children younger than 16 are being held as “enemy combatants” in the American detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, the US military admitted yesterday, a practice human rights groups condemned as repugnant and illegal. [from Guardian today 24.4.03]
Three boys aged between 13 and 15 … had been brought from Afghanistan this year on SUSPICION OF TERRORISM … and were moved to a “dedicated juvenile facility”. The children … [will] be held indefinitely and would not be granted access to lawyers … because the US continues to view them as “enemy combatants” – a term it has used to argue that the Geneva Conventions do not apply to the inmates, who have not been charged with any crimes.

The UNITED STATES and SOMALIA are the ONLY member states of the United Nations NOT to have ratified the Conventions on the Rights of the Child ...

The first detainees arrived at what was Camp X-Ray, in January 2002. Soon after, they were pictured cowed, blindfolded and bound in the intense Cuban heat.
Military officials have confirmed 25 suicide attempts by 17 people since the inception of the camp, with 15 this year.

NB: The US court of appeals ruled last month that the government was entitled to DENY due legal process to the detainees because THEY ARE NOT AMERICANS and are not being held on US territory. . .


The number of people behind bars in American prisons has topped the two million mark for the first time, according to figures just released by the Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. There are now 2,015,475 inmates in US jails, approximately four times more than in the Seventies, when a new philosophy of tough sentencing was introduced.

The breakdown of the figures reveals that a disproportionate number of people in the criminal justice system come from ethnic miority groups. Around 12% of young black males aged between 20 and 34 are behind bars, compared with only 1.6% of white men in the same age range. The general rate of incarceration, 702 people per 100,000 of population, is the HIGHEST IN THE DEVELOPED WORLD.
[The Week. 12.4.03]

MORE, go to:

The American journalist Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan because he uncovered links between the British terrorist Richard Reid and the Pakistani secret service, according to an investigation by the French philosopher and author Bernard-Henri Levy.

Levy’s book Who Killed Daniel Pearl? traces [Pearl’s] last investigation after he was persauded to go to Pakistan by a LONDON-born double agent, Omar Saeed Sheikh.
[Pearl] said Muslims such as Reid who were limked to Al-Qaida were being manipulated by “the most violent and most anti-American faction” inside the Pakistani secret service.
Claiming that Pakistan was the real key to all Islamic-led international terrorism, Levy said that the US had solved only 1% of the problem by deposing Saddam Hussein.
[Guardian. Paul Webster, Paris.]

posted by Ian 4/24/2003 12:45:00 PM

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