Tuesday, April 29, 2008

To Barrack Obama

January 25, 2008

The Honorable Barrack Obama

United States Senate

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Obama,

I am following your campaign efforts through the primary elections and believe that your message of change through hope, as well as action by the voter, is the best one presented by any of the candidates. As your constituent I would like to call your attention to the human rights issue that is occurring in Guantanamo Bay. It is my hope that you would be able to bring this to the attention of voters and congress because Guantanamo Bay is a human rights issue that affects us all through the denial of universal human rights to those held captive in Guantanamo. Perhaps your actions may provoke a change in the treatment and rights of the individuals in Guantanamo Bay.

The lack of legal rights of the detainees needs to be corrected because it does not comply with universal human rights or our nation’s traditions of an individual’s rights. Amnesty International tells us of the inadequate acknowledgement of prisoner’s rights, “These include secretly transferring suspects to locations where they have faced torture and other ill-treatment, enforced disappearances and indefinite detention without charge.” All of these allegations have been in the media but have not been represented in a widely and ardently by a politician. It is in representing this issue that I ask you to take action in hope of improving the situation. These individuals who are tortured and held with no charge require their basic rights through the Geneva Convention and this country’s own initiative.

Several media reports, through different sources, exist on the conditions and legal situations of the detainees in Guantanamo Bay. National Public Radio’s program This American Life has featured the issues concerning Guantanamo Bay in one of its episodes. The episode of This American Life concentrates on the legal right of habeas corpus that the detainees are entitled to but have been denied. This basic right is briefly explained by This American Life,” The right of habeas corpus has been a part of our country's legal tradition longer than we've actually been a country. It means that our government has to explain why it's holding a person in custody.” The denial of this right needs to be rectified in order for the detainees to know what law they have broken. The episode also concludes with an interview of a former detainee who explains the torture that he experienced. This is a human issue that should be brought to the attention of all.

It is my hope that bringing the denial of human rights and the torture of detainees to the attention of the country through the campaign and support of politicians will produce a change for the detainees and the representation of human rights by our country.

Thank you for your time and effort,

Arturo Medina,

Wabash College ’09.

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