Friday, May 19, 2006

United Nations : US 'must end secret detentions'

The US should close any secret "war on terror" detention facilities abroad and the Guantanamo Bay camp in Cuba, a United Nations report has said. The UN Committee against Torture urged the US to ensure no one was detained in any secret facility.

The report followed the first US appearance before the committee since the 11 September 2001 attacks. During the hearing in early May, the US neither confirmed or denied the existence of secret prisons.

The US has been holding hundreds of terror suspects arrested since 11 September at facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan and Cuba. It has been accused of operating secret prisons and transporting some detainees to states which use torture.

The committee also recommended in its 11-page report that the US should:

Register all those it detains in territories under its jurisdiction
Eradicate torture and ill-treatment of detainees
Not send suspects to countries where they face a risk of torture
Enact a federal crime of torture
Broaden the definition of acts of psychological torture
'Investigate and disclose'

The committee said it recognised that the 11 September attacks had caused "profound suffering" to the US and welcomed the US statement that officials from all government agencies were prohibited from engaging in torture at all times.

But it told the US its no-comment policy on the secret facilities was "regrettable" and asked for more information

Source BBC

UN report in full Here (pdf file)


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