Daily archives: May 19, 2006

UN torture report confirms US transgressions

US ‘must end secret detentions’

From BBC Online

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. A legal spokesman for the US state department said the report contained “factual and legal inaccuracies”.

John Bellinger admitted that some “acts of abuse” had occurred in the past, but insisted the US was taking steps to prevent any repeat. “I think without a doubt our record has improved over the last few years,” he told the AFP news agency. “We take our obligations under the convention seriously.”

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


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