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Human Rights Group Accuses The US Of Using 'Floating Prisons'

By Can Tran     Jun 2, 2008 in World
Recently, human rights lawyers have fired a harsh accusation towards the United States government. The argument presented is that the US used “floating prisons” to house those arrested on the war on terror.
The United States government is on the receiving end of criticism fired by human rights lawyers. Human rights lawyers have presented the argument and information that the United States government has been using “floating prisons” to house those arrested on the war on terror initiated by the administration of current United States President George W. Bush.
So far, human rights groups have been building up information on these ships that serve as floating prisons. Information compiled has come from a combination of: the Council of Europe, statements from those that have serve or currently serve in the United States military, and other political bodies. Reprieve is the name of the human rights group that has conducted this investigation and brought forth such information.
The two ships known as the USS Bataan and the USS Peleliu have been implicated as such ships that operate as floating prisons. Reprieve plans to address the activities of the USS Ashland that operated off the coast of Somalia back in 2007.
Safe to say, it seems to be a prelude to a possible political fireworks show.
Reprieve’s legal director, Clive Stafford Smith, accuses the US government of using ships to hide their misconduct in treating prisoners from the media and lawyers. Smith said that the group will reunite these “ghost prisoners” with their legal rights. He cited that the US by its own admission has detained at least 26,000 people such prisons. Smith added that these people were not given a trial.
This has brought forth questions from the British parliament. Andrew Tyrie, a Conservative MP had spoken out. He has urged that both the United States and British governments disclose everything in regards to these floating prisons.
It stems from the accusation that the US has used floating prisons around Diego Garcia located in the Indian Ocean. This island is under British control.
Edward Davey, the foreign affairs spokesman for the parliamentary group on extraordinary rendition said if what Reprieve says is true, then Bush has committed a major breach with the British government. This parliamentary group comprises of members of all parties. Davey is a Liberal Democrat and Tyrie is a Conservative.
The United States Navy replied that no such ships have been used as floating prisons. Commander Jeffrey Gordon, the spokesman for the US Navy said that those detained are only on the ship for a few days.
This recently emerging issue could possibly come up as a topic in the 2008 US Presidential Elections. One could try to link the claims by Reprieve with the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But, one could expect an interesting political fireworks show on a global scale. This could possibly put a dent on US-Britain relations.
More about United States, Britain, Reprieve