Friday, December 14, 2007

UN rights envoy suspects CIA of Guantanamo torture

Information Clearing House
By Stephanie Nebehay

12/13/07 -- -- GENEVA, Dec 13 (Reuters) - A
United Nations investigator said on Thursday he strongly suspected the CIA of using torture on terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, suggesting many were not being prosecuted to keep the abuse from emerging at trial.

On a visit to the U.S. detention centre in Cuba last week, Martin Scheinin, U.N. special rapporteur on protecting human rights while countering terrorism, attended a pre-trial hearing of Salim Ahmed Hamdan, Osama bin Laden's former driver.

Scheinin said U.S. officials had told him that of the roughly 300 detainees currently held at Guantanamo, 80 were expected to face military trials for suspected crimes. Another 80 inmates had been cleared for release, he said.

No decision had been made to either prosecute or release the remaining 150, including many so-called "high value" detainees, he said. Some have been held six years without trial.

"There is not enough evidence that could be presented, even to a military commission chaired by a military judge. Partly there may not be evidence and partly the risk of issues of torture being raised is too high," Sheinin told a news briefing.

"Bringing them to court would bring to the court's attention the method through which the evidence, including the confessions, were obtained. So this is one further affirmation of the conclusion that the CIA or others have been involved in methods of interrogation that are incompatible with international law," he said.

Continued . . .

Post a Comment