U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Max W. Donahue plays with Paco, his military working dog, in Lahib, Iraq, June 16, 2008. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Stuart Wegenka.
Amnesty International's Anti-Guantanamo Display Rouses Controversy
Thursday, June 26, 2008
By Cristina Corbin
NEW YORK — Amnesty International is currently touring the country with a life-sized replica of a maximum security prison cell at Guantánamo Bay. But critics say the cell, which is an attempt to call attention to alleged human rights abuses at the camp, is missing basic amenities provided to prisoners.
The 7x10-foot cell, on display on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., lacks amenities like bedding, toiletries and a copy of the Koran, and it has nothing to illustrate that regular meals are served to inmates three times a day.
Amnesty International-USA said the cell, which contains a toilet, sleeping bunk and a small window, is meant to symbolize the U.S. government's alleged mistreatment of detainees at the prison.
It said the tour is designed to increase public awareness and mount pressure on the Bush administration and Congress to close down the U.S.-controlled detention center. The group planned its display in Washington to coincide with a House Judiciary subcommittee's hearing on harsh interrogation techniques.
But Charles "Cully" Stimson, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs, lashed out against Amnesty's campaign, calling it a "complete fraud in misrepresenting the condition of detention at Gitmo today."