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June 23, 2005

Nothing to hide

Of course. Nothing at all:

(CBS/AP) – U.N. human rights experts seeking to visit the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay said Thursday they have reliable accounts that suspected terror detainees being held there have been tortured.
The four independent experts said the United States had not responded to their numerous requests to check on the conditions of terror suspects at the U.S. Naval base in Cuba, as well as U.S. facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places of detention.
They said their request for a visit was “based on information, from reliable sources, of serious allegations of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees, arbitrary detention, violations of their right to health and their due process rights.”
“Many of these allegations have come to light through declassified (U.S.) government documents,” they said. A U.S. spokeswoman said the request was still being reviewed in Washington.
… The expert on torture, Manfred Nowak of Austria, said, “We are not making a judgment if torture or treatment under degrading conditions has taken place.”
However, he said, the failure of the United States to respond is leading the experts to conclude that Washington has something to hide. “At a certain point you have to take well-founded allegations as proven in the absence of a clear explanation by the government.”

U.N. human-rights investigators have now been trying to visit Guantanamo for more than three years.

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