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Closing Guantanamo Bay Detention Center: A restorative option?

Stauffer, Carl
June 4, 2015

Source: (-0001) Unpublished paper

The Guantanamo Bay Detention Center represents a grave clash of justices. In real time, the
post-violence transitional politics of accountability, protection, vindication and healing are
untidy at best and deeply conflictual at worst. After the exposure of disturbing human rights
violations committed against the Guantanamo detainees, worldwide condemnation wracked
the standing of the United States, calling into question its self-proclaimed status as a defender
of human security and freedom. Focusing on the closure of Guantanamo prison and the
reintegration of the remaining detainees housed there, this article argues that the United States
is in need of reconstructing its integrity and that many of the current prisoners are in need of
an integrative justice. The current emphasis on extra-legal justifications and the punitive
system presently being applied will only continue to sharpen the divide of the identity
discourses between West and East, Christian and Muslim, terrorist and freedom fighter, and
what constitutes justice and injustice for the Guantanamo Bay detainees. To this end, the
authors propose a hybrid justice model that integrates trauma recovery and restorative justice
frameworks and their respective practices into the international retributive justice system
already in place. (author’s abstract)


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