UN tells U.S. Guantanamo should close

GENEVA — The United States should close its prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and avoid using secret detention facilities in its campaign against terrorism, a UN committee report said Friday.

In the 11-page report on its review of U.S. adherence to the treaty against torture, the committee said detainees should not be returned to any country where they could face a “real risk” of being tortured.

The United States “should cease to detain any person at Guantanamo Bay and close the detention facility,” said the UN Committee Against Torture, a panel of 10 independent experts on adherence to the UN Convention Against Torture.

The United States should also ensure that no one is detained in secret detention facilities under its control and should disclose the existence of any such places, the report said.

The committee said it was concerned that detainees were being held for protracted periods with insufficient legal safeguards and without judicial assessment of the justification for their detention.

The committee was also concerned about allegations that the United States has established secret prisons, where the International Red Cross does not have access to the detainees.

The report also said the United States must “eradicate” all forms of torture committed by its personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq and investigate allegations thoroughly, prosecuting any staff found guilty.

The report presented committee conclusions from a hearing earlier this month into U.S. conduct.

The United States made its first appearance before the UN Committee Against Torture in six years earlier this month, addressing issues ranging from Washington’s interpretation of the ban on torture to its interrogation methods in prisons like Abu Ghraib and Guanta’namo.

The committee also said that Washington should rescind interrogation techniques that constitute torture or cruel treatment, citing methods including sexual humiliation, mock drownings and the use of dogs to induce fear.

U.S. officials in Geneva on Friday declined to comment immediately.

The USA and Torture

The record shows that America has both promoted and used torture, that the US government has fought against international anti-torture conventions, and that the USA in fact consistently violates international rules and conventions on a whole range of human rights issues.


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AP, via the International Herald Tribune, France
May 19, 2006

Religion News Blog posted this on Friday May 19, 2006.
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