The United Nations released a report today calling on the United States to release or bring to trial everyone being held in the Guantanamo Bay prison, Cuba, and to shut the facility down.
The report is a summary of an investigation by five UN experts. It calls on the US government "to close down the Guantanamo Bay detention centre and to refrain from any practice amounting to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment." The UN report is found here..
It comes as no surprise that the US discredits and ignores the report. It's not like they give a shit about human rights, or international opinion, or... anything except their own agenda. Not much new there. But these kinds of reports are important nonetheless. Reliable third parties must document the abuses of the most powerful. It's bad enough the US rewrites its own recent history; they can't be allowed to rewrite it for the entire world.
One of the US's complaints about the UN report is that the investigators rejected an invitation to visit Guantanamo. The US had invited the experts to the prison - but wouldn't let them interview the people being held there. Because they were not to be given free access, the investigators refused to go. Their findings were instead based on interviews with former detainees, public documents, media reports, lawyers and a questionnaire filled out by the U.S. government.
The Guantanamo Bay prison is one of the great shames of the United States. If there was ever justification for imprisoning the people held there - without charges, without trials, without even the protections that POW status would confer - it has long, long since vanished. These prisoners are the often forgotten victims of the US's war of terror.
AP story here.