Human rights and due process are essential [Archives:2004/729/Front Page]
By Peter Willems
Yemen Times Staff
Terry Waite knows what it is like to be a victim of terrorism. As a representative of the Anglican Church in England, Waite was known in the eighties for negotiating to free hostages. But on one of his trips to Lebanon, an unidentified terrorist organization set up a trap and kidnapped Waite. He was held as a hostage for almost five years, from January 1987 to November 1991.
Despite his experience as a hostage, Waite continues to help people. He founded and heads YCARE which offers vocational training and therapy for the young who have been traumatized by war. The program operates in Kosovo and in the occupied territories, such as in Jericho and Gaza. He also heads a program in South Africa that deals with mothers and children who are tested as HIV positive. In England, Waite is the president of an organization that assists the homeless, and he spends time working with inmates in prisons.
Waite came to Yemen this week to participate in the two-day human rights conference organized by Amnesty International. The conference focused on bringing together lawyers and families of Guantanamo Bay detainees and called on the United States to release the prisoners or put them on trial.
Peter Willems spoke with Terry Waite while he was in Yemen to discuss why he supported Amnesty International and what he believes should be done for the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
Interview on Community page