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UN rejects Guantanamo visit offer

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4394584.stm UN rejects Guantanamo visit offer UN human rights monitors say they will not accept a US offer to visit the
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 31, 2005
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      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4394584.stm

      UN rejects Guantanamo visit offer

      UN human rights monitors say they will not accept a US
      offer to visit the Guantanamo Bay prison camp unless
      they are given free access to the prisoners.

      The monitors said they could accept some limitations,
      but not a ban on private interviews with detainees.

      The Pentagon, which received the UN request for a
      visit more than three years ago, said the invitation
      showed it had "nothing to hide".

      About 500 people are currently being held at
      Guantanamo.

      To date, only the International Committee of the Red
      Cross has been granted direct access to prisoners at
      the camp in Cuba.

      Hunger strike

      The three monitors said in a statement that they could
      not accept the exclusion of private interviews as
      "this would not only contravene the terms of reference
      for fact-finding missions... but also undermine the
      purpose of an objective and fair assessment".

      The three also said they were disappointed that the
      visit would only last one day, and that two other UN
      human rights investigators had been excluded from the
      tour.

      However, they said they were confident the US
      government would accept their demand to talk privately
      with detainees.

      Human rights activists have criticised conditions at
      the camp, where several inmates are on hunger strike.

      The UN first asked for permission to visit the camp
      when it opened in January 2002, months after the
      US-led invasion of Afghanistan which toppled the
      Taleban regime.

      The UN has accused the US of stalling over its
      repeated requests to visit the camp to look into
      allegations of human rights abuses.
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