[QODLink]
Archive
UK judge denounces Guantanamo
A senior British judge has trashed the continuing detention of suspects by the United States in Guantanamo Bay as a "monstrous failure of justice".
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2003 01:10 GMT
Protests are growing louder over the 'illegal' detentions
A senior British judge has trashed the continuing detention of suspects by the United States in Guantanamo Bay as a "monstrous failure of justice".

Johan Steyn, the third most senior judge in the United Kingdom, told an independent television channel on Tuesday the suspects were being held at the US naval base in Cuba in conditions of "utter lawlessness".

"As a lawyer brought up to admire the ideals of American democracy and justice I would have to say that I regard this as a monstrous failure of justice," Steyn told Channel Four.

His comments come amid frantic efforts by UK to have nine British detainees being held at Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay returned to face trial at home rather than being tried by a US military court.

Caustic criticism

"The question is whether the quality of justice envisaged for the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay complies with the minimum international standards for the conduct of fair trials. The answer can be given quite shortly. It is a resounding no," the judge said.

"As a lawyer brought up to admire the ideals of American democracy and justice I would have to say that I regard this as a monstrous failure of justice"

Johan Steyn
UK judge

Steyn further alleged that Washington's motives for holding the prisoners was "to put them beyond the rule of law, beyond the protection of any courts and at the mercy of victors".

"The procedural rules do not prohibit the use of force to coerce the prisoners to confess," he said. He urged the UK government to speak out on behalf of all the 660 detainees from 42 different countries.

"It may be appropriate to pose a question: Ought our government to make plain publicly and unambiguously our condemnation of the utter lawlessness at Guantanamo Bay?" Steyn asked.

The US defends the detentions, insisting the suspects captured during and after the US-led offensive in Afghanistan in 2001 were enemy combatants ineligible for normal legal process.

US heavy-handedness has, however, been condemned by civil rights groups worldwide.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Traditional spring festival blossoms outside India through fun runs, raves and TV commercials.
Parents unable to look after children are marrying them off at a tender age, exposing them to maternal deaths.
A US outbreak of algae-produced biotoxins that attack animals'?? brains also poses a grave risk to humans.
Israel has re-arrested dozens of Palestinians in the West Bank, an act a human rights group says is 'unjustified'.
New measures needed as dozens of citizens fighting with Islamic State pose home-grown terror threat, PM Abbott says.
join our mailing list