US human rights record highlighted ahead of President’s visit

DSC_3645A letter protesting America’s human rights record has been delivered to the US Consul General in Belfast, Gregory S. Burton, ahead of Barack Obama’s visit on Monday.

Workers Party General Secretary John Lowry and International Secretary Gerry Grainger presented the letter  criticising the US president for his repeated failure to honour a pre-election promise made in in 2008 to close the Guantanamo  Bay prison and interrogation centre.

It is estimated that  there are currently 166 detainees held without charge at Guantanamo. Of these around 100 are currently on hunger strike and thirty of those are being force fed.

The detention of these detainees and the conditions under which they are being held have been cited by International Human Rights Organisations as an affront to the protection of human rights and have been found to be unconstitutional by the US Courts themselves“, the Workers Party letter said .

The protest letter also highlighted the on-going plight of the ‘Cuban Five’, jailed in 2001 and the Obama administration’s increasing use of unmanned drone aircraft.

The unacceptable conditions under which the ‘Cuban Five’ are held in US prisons and the punishment of their relatives who are denied acceptable visitation rights have been condemned world wide as examples of the violation of human rights by the United States of America.

The use and legality of drone attacks, which have murdered civilian populations, in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia – countries the United States is not at war with – has been questioned by numerous international bodies including The International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic at Stanford Law School and the Global Justice Clinic at the New York University School of Law.

The Workers Party has called for  the immediate closure of the Guantanamo Camp, the unconditional release of those detained there, the immediate release and return to Cuba of the Cuban Five and an immediate end to the use of drone attacks by the US.

Full text of the letter handed into the US Consulate today :Letter of protest

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