The United Nations Human Rights Commission has issued a report demanding that the 500 remaining prisoners being held by the United States at their Guantanamo Bay facility be released "without further delay". UN Secretary General Kofi Annan commented that it was inappropriate for prisoners to be held incommunicado "in perpetuity" by the US Government, regardless of their past actions, pending trials or danger as potential terrorists.
Among the 53 members of the Human Rights Commission are:
• China which holds more political prisoners than all other nations in the world combined and is currently holding over 1000 political prisoners in Tibet alone, being held prisoner merely for supporting traditional Tibetan religion including such crimes as being an 8 year old who some recognize as the reincarnation of a famous Lama. This is in addition to uncounted tens of thousands of ethnic Chinese and other groups in forced detention for political crimes with no right to a trial or outside communication.
• Congo where are there no tedious political prisoners. They just 'disappear' hundreds of politically inconvenient people every year, which means raping them, killing them and dumping them in unmarked mass graves.
• Cuba where laws controlling freedom of movement put the entire population under effective house arrest, and where tens of thousands of political prisoners have been executed and imprisoned by the current regime, including for such crimes as homosexuality. In the latest roundups of dissidents over 100 were jailed for disagreeing with the government.
• Ethiopia whose government recently arrested all of the leaders of the political opposition and jailed without trial or outside contact thousands of students from the Oromo tribe, after shooting a number of them during political demonstrations.
• Nigeria where they've just reinstated the death penalty for extramarital sex - only applying to women, of course.
• And of course Sudan, whose government presides over the ongoing genocides and human rights abuses in Darfur, which have already led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands.
You don't get much more hypocritical than the UN, where a group which includes the worst human rights abusers in the world - who regularly 'disappear' innocent people, shoot whole villages and throw them in mass graves and jail religious leaders and political critics indefinitely without trial - thinks that the US should immediately free 500 dangerous prisoners taken in war, fighting as non-uniformed combatants and connected to ongoing terrorist operations, who are even being treated far more humanely than they likely deserve. Rather than backing their demands, wouldn't it be refreshing if Kofi Annan just once took some of these nations to task for their own much more serious human rights abuses?