Iraq, Guantanamo, and Human RightsGAMBIER, Ohio (April 9, 2007) When Terry Waite speaks of human-rights abuses, he knows whereof he speaks. Waite, who had successfully negotiated the release of hostages in Iran and Libya, was sent to Beirut, Lebanon, in January 1987 to seek the freedom of four hostages. Instead, the British humanitarian and special envoy of the Archbishop of Canterbury was taken hostage himself and held captive for five years.
Waite, who continues to work defending the rights of victims across the globe, will lecture on "Iraq, Guantanamo, and Human Rights" on Monday, April 16, at 7:00 p.m., in Rosse Hall Auditorium.
In conjunction with his visit, an exhibition titled "The Hidden Terror: Giving Voice to Torture Victims," will be presented in the Horn Gallery from April 1-15. The show is sponsored by Amnesty International at Kenyon.
As early as January 2002, Waite spoke out against the conditions for prisoners imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay. In an article written for CounterPunch magazine, he wrote, "Because I was kept in very similar conditions, I am appalled at the way we-countries that call ourselves civilised-are treating these captives. Is this justice or revenge?" Since his ordeal, he has written three books, including Taken on Trust , an account of his years in captivity, and lectured extensively.
"The terrible thing about terrorism is that ultimately it destroys those who practice it," Waite warns. "Slowly but surely, as they try to extinguish life in others, the light within them dies."
Waite's visit is sponsored by Student Lectureships.