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US denies Red Cross access to all terror suspects

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US denies Red Cross access to all terror suspects


The United States has rejected demands by the International Committee of the Red Cross to grant access to all prisoners held as part of the US war on terror. Jakob Kellenberger is president of the ICRC and insists the contact is essential. “We have said it’s for us a major concern, the undisclosed detention, we want to have access there, to gather information and have access, and only once we have access to the people, we can make a judgement in which legal framework we have to situate those people.”

The US has admitted it does not provide access to what it describes as a limited number of detainees saying they pose an extraordinary threat. Human rights groups accuse the US of carrying out some 800 flights across Europe transporting prisoners covertly held by the CIA. It is alleged secret CIA jails existed in Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic and Kosovo

Amnesty International claims 430 of the CIA flights have touched down in Germany since 2001. The country’s foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has promised a parliamentary debate on the scandal on Wednesday. Meanwhile the United Nations has repeated demands to inspect the USA’s Guantanamo prison camp without restrictions imposed by Washington.

It turned down an offer earlier this month after it did receive the right to speak freely to prisoners. The Pentagon has invited a European parliamentarian to visit the facility, but the Belgian politician will be barred from meeting prisoners.
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