ARTICLE 7 by Antonio Lubrano
They have been published on all newspapers, one face beside the other, only the faces, of two old Afghans. Has it ever happen to you, when you start staring at something and you can't stop looking at it? It happened to me with the photo of these two elderly men, Fiz, 105 years old (he says) and Mohammed, 90 years old.
Both of them with thick white beards, both with a questioning looks and half open mouths. The Americans kept them prisoner in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba for ten months, in outdoor cages, one meter eighty by two meters forty. They were considered "outlaw fighters" - in other words, Taleban terrorists - and therefore excluded from the Geneva Convention for prisoners of war.
Once freed, Fiz and Mohammed didn't complain about their conditions, on the contrary, in fact. "They treated us well. They fed us, we were allowed to have our ritual baths and we could pray five times a day". The associations for human rights around the world accuse the US of treating the two "outlaws" like animals.
"I am only an old man", said the centenary Fiz, declaring his innocence. And only two old men appeared to me, looking at those faces in the photos.
Here we are not debating the real or alleged offence, here the question is another, very simple one. A 90 year old man and a 105 year old man: their long lives are to be respected,or not? From a human point of view, if pity doesn't suffice.