The detainee treatment Act of 2005 is a statute that the American congress legislated in December of 2005. The act was signed into law on December 30th, 2005 by President George W. Bush. The act contains provisions on how prisoners are treated by the Department of Defense and how detainees at Guantanamo Bay should be treated. 

These provisions include:

  • The ban of debasing or cruel handling of any of the U.S. detainees including prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay.
  • The criteria used when questioning and handling the prisoners by the relevant government agencies under the department of defense.
  • A set of guidelines for determining if the detainees held at Guantanamo Bay meet the criteria to be classified as an enemy combatant.
  • Sanctioning of Washington, D.C. criminal court of Appeals to reevaluate the verdicts of the Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs).
  • Demanding any unlawful detention appeals for foreign persons apprehended at Guantanamo be executed as per DTA (but provides no further stipulations).
  • Taking no action against any military personnel or government agent for using interrogation techniques considered lawful by the time they were applied.

Some observers believe that subsequent amendments hold the American government from fully implementing the Detainee treatment act 2005. 

Two Actions That Limit This Statute from Stopping Torture:

1. Suggesting that the cross-questioning approach used as per the field Manual of the U.S and not mentioning any specified editions- this gives the DoD the power to determine what methods to employ.

2. Modifying the stipulations of law against torture by the Graham-Levin Amendment warrants the Department of Defense to evaluate the grounds leading to the suffering of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay. It also bans detainees from habeas corpus appeals, depriving them of the privileges of legal course when tortured.

Current Position:

American activists have pleaded with the federal government to close Guantanamo Bay prison and end detainees’ torture. This Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 requires all American military personnel to refrain from vicious, ruthless, and humiliating acts when treating or handling people behind bars. Hopefully, the current government will keep its promise and end solitary confinement and torture.