UN report calls for closure of Guantánamo

guantanamo-bayA UN inquiry into conditions at Guantánamo Bay has called on Washington to shut down the prison, and says treatment of detainees in some cases amounts to torture, UN officials said yesterday.

The report also disputes the Bush administration’s legal arguments for the prison, which was sited at the navy base in Cuba with the purpose of remaining outside the purview of the US courts, and says there has been insufficient legal process to decide whether detainees continued to pose a threat to the US.

The report lists techniques in use at Guantánamo that are banned under the UN’s convention against torture, including prolonged periods of isolation, exposure to extremes of heat and cold, and humiliation, including forced shaving. The UN report also focuses on a relatively new area of concern in Guantánamo – the resort to violent force-feeding to end a hunger strike by inmates.

Guardian, 14 February 2006