Friday, November 25, 2005

UN convinced US hiding truth about Guantanamo

BERLIN: The United Nations envoy who investigates torture allegations said the United States has "something to hide" at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, the German weekly Die Zeit reported in its latest edition.





Special Rapporteur Manfred Nowak is investigating "serious allegations" against the United States in relation to the controversial military prison at Guantanamo in Cuba, the weekly said in its edition dated Thursday.

The UN this month turned down an invitation to inspect Guantanamo, saying there was no point because the US authorities would not allow UN officials free access to detainees there. Die Zeit said Nowak was "convinced" that the US authorities were hiding something about the facility.

The US government has been sharply criticised for conditions at Guantanamo, where around 500 detainees are being held. Most of them were captured after a US-led offensive toppled the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in late 2001.

The weekly quoted a report from the US State Department that defends living conditions at the detention camp, saying detainees live in "air-conditioned cells", have "family-style dinners" and are able to take fresh air and even play board games and football.

But Die Zeit said former prisoners of Guantanamo paint a starkly different picture of the camp, claiming they have been tortured. The weekly said it has obtained a copy of a letter from a detainee dated November 2 claiming that prisoners on hunger strike were tied to their beds and force-fed by a tube through their noses. "No independent inspector sees what happens here," the detainee wrote.


Source : Here

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