October 1, 2005 Special Dispatch No. 996

Egyptian Government Daily: Guantanamo Like Nazi Camps

October 1, 2005
Egypt | Special Dispatch No. 996

In the Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram, columnist Mustafa Sami writes that the U.S. Navy detention camp at Guantanamo Bay is like the Nazi camps of the previous century.

The following are excerpts from his column: [1]

"The anti-black racism exposed by Hurricane Katrina is not the only disgrace hounding the Bush administration in the U.S. There is another disgrace that the world is talking about, which concerns the 600 prisoners at the Guantanamo camp, and which has greatly damaged the reputation of the American democracy.

"This can be called the first massacre of the 21st century; it is being perpetrated by the Bush administration against 200 Muslims, mostly Arabs, who have been hunger-striking for the past three weeks. This premeditated crime is taking place before the eyes of the [entire] world, but not a single conscience has awakened to demand that the slaughter be halted and that these prisoners be rescued from death.

"This murderous crime runs counter to all laws, conventions, and moral standards, [yet] none [stand up to] defend its victims. In the future, it will leave its dark marknot only on the forehead of the Bush administration, but also on the faces of several Arab governments – [since] more than 80% of the prisoners and hunger strikers in this concentration camp are their subjects.

"This camp takes us back to the time of Nazi persecution of innocent people in the early 1940s. The U.S., which in the 20th century played a major role with the Allies in closing down the Nazi camps and liberating Europe from the Nazi massacres, has, in the early 21st century, reestablished a detention camp in Cuba, which is very much like the Nazi camps, and where they [incarcerate] those whom they label enemy combatants.

"During the past four years, 10% of the Guantanamo prisoners have committed suicide, which is the highest suicide rate among prisoners anywhere in the world!

"According to American press reports, and statements by camp commanders, the 200 hunger-striking prisoners are in danger of dying, since their health deteriorated in the third week [of the strike]. Despite efforts by those in charge of the camp to force-feed them... while they were bound hand and foot to their beds, their health continues to deteriorate, while they insist on continuing their strike – since death has become the hope and desire of every prisoner.

"Where are the Arab human rights organizations – both civil and governmental – that we read about in the papers every day, and whose number has greatly increased in the past decade? Why aren't they standing up and cooperating with the [similar] organizations in the U.S. and in Europe, and why aren't they demanding that the prisoners be released or brought to a fair trial... after four years of inhuman and immoral torture and abuse? Isn't it the role of these organizations to protect the human rights of the Arab people?"

[1] Al-Ahram (Egypt), September 27, 2005.

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