UK accused of Guantanamo collusion
Monday, September 18th, 2006
David Batty and agencies
More than 100 senior doctors today accused the government of colluding in war crimes by refusing to give medical aid to British residents detained at Guantánamo Bay.
The doctors called for an urgent independent investigation into the medical needs of the detainees at the camp.
In a letter published in The Times newspaper today, the doctors condemn the Foreign Office for its “shameful” refusal to respond to a request from the British Medical Association (BMA) to send a team of doctors to the detention camp in Cuba.
The medics also criticise the failure of the Foreign Office’s medical and legal panels to discuss the plight of the detainees for the reason that they are not British passport holders. Nine British citizens have been released from the camp since 2004, but at least eight men who have British residency rights are believed to still be there.
“Our government’s excuse is that it does not wish to set a precedent to act for British residents, rather than British citizens. We find this morally repugnant,” said the letter, which was signed by 120 medical professionals.
They add: “It is clear that an independent scrutiny is urgently required by physicians outside the US military. The silence of the Foreign Office is shameful and reflects the collusion of this country in a war crime.”