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Rice rejects Iceland call to close Guantanamo prison

[JURIST] US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [official profile; JURIST news archive] Friday defended the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] in the face of a resolution [text, in Icelandic] by the Icelandic parliament [official website] calling for the prison's closure. At a news conference [DOS transcript] in Reykjavik with Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladottir, Iceland´s Minister for Foreign Affairs [official website], Gísladottir said she had given Rice a copy of the resolution condemning the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo as inhumane and urging that the camp be shut down. Rice countered that a recent report [PDF text] by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) [official website] showed no evidence of ongoing human rights violations at the facility. Rice went on to note that President Bush also wanted to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, but there is still a "problem with what you do with the dangerous people who are there."

Earlier this month, Rice defended [JURIST report] the Bush administration's authorization of the use of harsh interrogation tactics, including waterboarding [JURIST news archive], on suspected terrorist detainees. AP has more. Iceland Review has local coverage.

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