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UN report alleges US torture at Guantanamo

[JURIST] Five United Nations [official website] rights experts have concluded that detainees being held at the US prison base in Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] have been subjected to physical and mental abuse amounting to torture in some cases, according to an unreleased draft report obtained by the Los Angeles Times. The report is the result of an 18-month investigation ordered by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights [official website], and calls on the US to close the facility in Cuba and move the detainees to US soil for trial. Manfred Nowak [official profile, DOC], the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture [official website] and one of the five envoys who worked on the report, explained the conclusion of the report by saying:

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.
The envoys voiced concern over interrogation techniques including extended solitary confinement, exposure to extreme temperatures, exploitation of religious beliefs, and force-feeding hunger strikers [JURIST report] by brutally inserting nasal tubes. The report has no binding legal effect, but human rights advocates are hoping it carries enough weight to at least strengthen the dialogue about procedures at Guantanamo. Monday's Los Angeles Times has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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