Posts Tagged ‘fields of athenry’

The Guardian: Illegal renditions, disappeared prisoners, and “Prison Ships”

June 2, 2008

From The Guardian, a new article by Duncan Campbell and Richard Norton-Taylor outlines the continuing illegal and immoral conduct of the United States in its War on Islam and Muslims, oops sorry, I mean “War on Terror.”

Prison ships have a long history and are mentioned prominently in many famous Irish rebel ballads (including “Fields of Athenry”). Their use against Irish nationalists and republicans dates back to the time when “transportation” was used against political and other prisoners down until the 1970s when the HMS Maidstone was anchored off Belfast and used to hold Republican political prisoners, including Gerry Adams and hunger strike martyr Joe McDonnell.

“The United States is operating “floating prisons” to house those arrested in its war on terror, according to human rights lawyers, who claim there has been an attempt to conceal the numbers and whereabouts of detainees.

Details of ships where detainees have been held and sites allegedly being used in countries across the world have been compiled as the debate over detention without trial intensifies on both sides of the Atlantic. The US government was yesterday urged to list the names and whereabouts of all those detained.

Information about the operation of prison ships has emerged through a number of sources, including statements from the US military, the Council of Europe and related parliamentary bodies, and the testimonies of prisoners.

The analysis, due to be published this year by the human rights organisation Reprieve, also claims there have been more than 200 new cases of rendition since 2006, when President George Bush declared that the practice had stopped.

It is the use of ships to detain prisoners, however, that is raising fresh concern and demands for inquiries in Britain and the US. (more…)