Friday, June 24, 2005

The World's Longest-Held POWs

Injustices that fit neatly into U.S. political ideologies will receive much press attention. Many others fall through the cracks, such as the world's longest-held POWs.

408 Moroccans are still being held by the Polisario Front as a result of a territorial dispute in the Sahara. The remaining POWs have been held in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions since the declaration of a cease- fire in 1991, and are today the longest-held prisoners of war anywhere in the world.

In May, John McCain, along with six other former Morrocan POWS called for the immediate release of the remaining POWs.

"I know all too well that appeals to decency and justice can make a difference in the lives of prisoners," said McCain. "I have sent a letter to the leadership of the Polisario Front, calling for the immediate release of all prisoners of war, and I hope that my colleagues in the Senate and others will join this call as well."

The six former prisoners spoke about seeing their fellow prisoners murdered, tortured, forced to perform slave labor and forced to give their own blood to their enemies. The group explained that they had come to America to plea for the active support of the United States in helping to free the 408 Moroccan soldiers who are still facing torture, isolated confinement and regular humiliation.

But the story did not have the political sex appeal of an Abu Graib or Guantanamo Bay and quickly sank below the waves.

Do what you can for these people--take a moment to sign the petition for their immediate release.


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