The Guantanamo Paradox

Released Guantanamo Bay prisoners have nowhere to go.

In the past couple weeks, about 85 of the approximately 385 Guantanamo Bay prisoners have been cleared by military review panels for release. The cleared prisoners, however, are finding it a little hard to celebrate their freedom because they simply have no place to go. The situation is quickly escalating and becoming a global problem as U.S. officials are finding it incredibly difficult to find homes for these individuals.

Most importantly, the prisoners’ countries do not want them back. Yemen’s stance in relation to most of the 106 Yemeni nationals at Guantanamo has been hostile and unwelcome, questioning the legality of the prisoners’ citizenships.

The United States and its allies in Europe and around the world have refused to grant asylum to these prisoners, who now find themselves stateless, with no place to go. Considering our country is directly responsible for the wrongful detention of these individuals, our stance is simply not acceptable.

The problems now facing the Bush administration are self-created. In the past, the administration repeatedly stressed the threat posed by these individuals by calling them the “worst of the worst” and refusing to admit to wrongful detentions. It is the responsibility of the U.S. government to do whatever necessary to give these people their lives in their own countries, and if after much diplomatic pressure this doesn’t become possible, they should open the doors of our own country.

It has now been over five years since the first detainees were transferred to the notorious detention camp in Cuba, and despite widespread international condemnation, there are still hundreds of people being detained without charge. Only two Guantanamo detainees have been reportedly charged, and

no form of compensation is being offered to those that are being released without charge. The detaining and treatment of these individuals has become a full-blown human-rights tragedy.

These prisoners were brought to Guantanamo to “face justice,” but their imprisonment has become an incessant source of injustice. Given the current situation, the tragedy of Guantanamo shows no signs of stopping.