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Monday, February 13, 2006

UN: US Tortures at Gitmo

The UN says the US should close the prison facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. This report is from the BBC:
Treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay constitutes torture in some cases and violates international law, a leaked UN draft report says....

The Los Angeles Times published the draft report in its paper on Monday and spoke to one of the authors, the UN special raporteur on torture, Manfred Novak.

"We very, very carefully considered all of the arguments posed by the US government. There are no conclusions that are easily drawn. But we concluded that the situation in several areas violates international law and conventions on human rights and torture," Mr Nowak told the LA Times.
Officially, the report won't be out until the end of the week. The LA Times had this excerpt:
"In their view, the legal regime applied to these detainees seriously undermines the rule of law and a number of fundamental universally recognized human rights, which are the essence of democratic societies," the report said.
The US government is criticizing the document because the authors didn't actually go to Cuba. Of course, they've wanted to visit the prison since 2002:
The five experts had sought invitations from the United States to visit Guantanamo Bay since 2002 and three were offered a visit last year. But they refused in November when they were told they would not be allowed to interview detainees.

The United States believes that the International Committee of the Red Cross is the body that should handle that duty. However, ICRC reports are generally confidential, while the U.N. experts usually make their findings public.

"Fact-finding on the spot has to include interviews with detainees," said Manfred Nowak, the U.N. special investigator on torture and one of the experts. "What's the sense of going to a detention facility and doing fact-finding when you can't speak to the detainees? It's just nonsense."
Remember, kids, the US is spreading liberty and democracy...

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