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  1. #1
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    UN rights body tells US to shut "secret" jails

    By Richard Waddington
    20 minutes ago



    GENEVA (Reuters) - A United Nations human rights body told Washington on Friday that any "secret detention" centers for terrorism suspects it operated abroad violated international law and should be shut immediately.

    Saying it had "credible and uncontested" reports of such jails, the U.N. Human Rights Committee said the United States appeared to have been detaining people "secretly and in secret places for months and years."

    "The state party should immediately abolish all secret detention," it said, echoing a similar demand in May by the U.N. Committee Against Torture.

    In its findings on U.S. observance of the U.N.'s main political rights' treaty, the committee said that the International Committee of the Red Cross must be given access to anybody held during armed conflict.

    The U.N. body also expressed concern at the acknowledged past use of interrogation techniques like prolonged stress positions and sleep deprivation that could be seen as torture.

    While welcoming assurances that they were no longer used, it said it was worried the United States did not seem to see them as violations of international law. It also questioned the "impartiality and effectiveness" of investigations into abuse.

    "We consider that the major violations were to do with the fight against terrorism," said French magistrate Christine Chanet, who chairs the committee of 18 internationally recognized independent experts.

    MORAL WEIGHT

    The committee, whose opinions carry moral, not legal weight, rejected Washington's argument that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights only applies on U.S. soil.

    A report last month for the Council of Europe, the European human rights watchdog said more than 20 European states had colluded in a web of secret CIA jails and flight transfers of terrorism suspects from Asia to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

    In reply to the committee's 39 recommendations, Washington stuck to its view about territorial limits.

    "We can understand the committee's desire to have the convention apply outside the territory ... but we must accept ... the way it was written not the way the committee wishes it to be," said State Department legal adviser John Bellinger.

    Washington accused the committee of spending too much time on the United States.

    "The recent committee conclusions on North Korea were about half the length of that on the United States," the U.S. mission to the United Nations in Geneva said in a statement.

    The U.N. treaty lays down individual rights, including the right to equality before the law and protection against torture and inhumane treatment as well as from arbitrary arrest.

    The committee asked the United States to respond to its comments within a year. Asked what would happen if Washington took no notice, Chanet, said:

    "There is a strong chance that they will ignore many of the recommendations. They are so certain about their position (but) we can always hope for a change of attitude."

    The next formal U.S. review is not due until 2010, but the latest U.S. report to the committee was seven years late.

    (Additional reporting by Laura MacInnis)

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060728/ts_nm/rights_usa_dc_3


    I didn't hear about this on the news. I saw it on Yahoo news this morning. Then it disapeared and I had to hunt it down.

  2. #2
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    Mar 2005
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    Re: UN rights body tells US to shut "secret" jails

    I found it at this link, the link you posted is purged.

    July 28, 2006 - 4:01 PM

    UN rights body tells U.S. to shut "secret" jails

    http://www.swissinfo.org/eng/interna...=1154098358000

  3. #3
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    Re: UN rights body tells US to shut "secret" jails

    Thanks. Like I said it was just on yahoo news this morning and then it dissapeared like it only was on there so they can say they reported it and then did away with it so everbody wouldn't get a chance to read it.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2005
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    Re: UN rights body tells US to shut "secret" jails

    Quote Originally Posted by Button
    Thanks. Like I said it was just on yahoo news this morning and then it dissapeared like it only was on there so they can say they reported it and then did away with it so everbody wouldn't get a chance to read it.
    There is no doubt that Rumsfeld and company may have forced yahoo news to drop this story

    Aside from the fact that the detention centers and the ‘state sponsored policy’ of rendering and torture are of grave concern this statement alone is a huge embarrassment to the Bush Admin.:


    "The state party should immediately abolish all secret detention," it said, echoing a similar demand in May by the U.N. Committee Against Torture.

    This is a declaration by the UN, representing most of the nations of the world, that consensus is: America is now a totalitarian state.
    The use of the ter,m ‘ state party’ clearly defines America as identical in their eyes to Stalinist Russia, Moa’s China, or Castro’s Cuba.
    Last edited by Phinnly Slash Buster; 07-29-2006 at 12:31 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    939

    Re: UN rights body tells US to shut "secret" jails

    It's kind of a moot point -- close those, and they'll open up new ones just like them.

    It is common knowledge that governments torture their enemies for information. Some get caught, others don't. The smart ones outsource it to countries where it is a more common and accepted practice. Doesn't make it right, it's just the way the world works.

    Exposing it for the purpose of ending the practice, at least in my opinion, is a waste of time -- torture will likely always be with us. The UN's purpose, in this case, is to damage a country's rep in the court of public opinion, which, at least with regards to the U.S., seems like an even bigger waste of time due to the fact that our name is already in the toilet as it is.

    There is also debate over the credibility of information gathered through torture. But one would think they would have stopped doing it a long time ago if it didn't work at least some of the time. Again, doesn't make it right.

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