The United States should apologize for its treatment of Guantanamo Bay inmates, who have faced «cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment,» a United Nations expert said.
Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, who made the first official visit by a UN investigator to the US detention center in Cuba, said Monday that he had identified significant improvements in confinement conditions at Guantanamo Bay since it was set up to house to suspects after the September 1 attacks. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Despite this, it found that the facility, which now houses 30 inmates, down from nearly 800 at its peak, continued to involve «near constant surveillance, forced cell removals, misuse of restraints, and other arbitrary measures not comply with human rights. operating procedures,» he said in his report to the UN Human Rights Office.
“The totality of these practices and omissions have cumulative and aggravating effects on the dignity and fundamental rights of detainees, and amount to continued cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment,” Ní Aoláin said, adding: “The closure of the facility It’s still a priority.»
While Washington has long claimed it can hold detainees indefinitely without charge under the international laws of war, the detention center has come under intense criticism since it was established by the Bush White House in 2002.
Images of blindfolded detainees in orange jumpsuits kneeling on the ground, their hands tied, became emblematic of the «War on Terror,» with some Islamic extremists, such as the Islamic State terror group, clothing detainees. hostages in similar attire before beheading them.
Ní Aoláin, an Irish law professor, is the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. These rapporteurs have the task of examining, advising and publicly reporting on human rights issues and situations.
Speaking at the UN on Monday, Ní Aoláin said the United States should apologize for its treatment of the detainees, according to Reuters. She concluded that the US government must ensure accountability for all violations of international law.
A formal US response to the Ní Aoláin findings, released by the United States Mission to International Organizations in Geneva, He said the United States disagreed «with many statements of fact and law that the RE has made,» referring to Ní Aoláin, the special rapporteur. «We are committed to providing safe and humane treatment to detainees at Guantanamo, in full compliance with US domestic and international law.»
“Detainees prepare meals together and live in a community, receive specialized medical and psychiatric care, have access to legal counsel, and communicate regularly with their families,” the US said.
The US emphasized that Ní Aoláin’s conclusions «are solely its own and do not reflect the official views of the United Nations.»
«Nonetheless, we are carefully reviewing the SR’s recommendations and will take appropriate action, as warranted,» the US statement added.
Noting that 10 people have been transferred from Guantanamo since President Joe Biden took office, the US added that it had «made significant progress toward responsible detainee population reduction and closure of the Guantanamo facility.» .
The administration is also «actively working to find suitable locations for the remaining detainees eligible for transfer,» he said.
Biden has said he wants to close the detention center.
The US established the Guantánamo military base in 1903. President George W. Bush opened the detention center in 2002 and held nearly 800 detainees at its peak.
The highest profile prisoner being held there is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks.
Barack Obama had pledged to close the prison as president, and two days after his inauguration he signed an executive order to close it by the end of the year. But while his administration significantly reduced the population, resistance from Congress stymied an attempt to shut down the facility.
After Donald Trump became president, he signed an executive order to keep the site open.
Biden began a quiet attempt to shut down the site soon after taking office, and several detainees have been transferred to other nations in the years since. In April, the transfer of an Algerian detainee to Algeria reduced the population of the detention center to 30.