It has made difficult reading for Washington, but a report by the UN’s anti-torture body says the detention centre at Guantanamo Bay is illegal and should be closed.
UN Committee member Andreas Mavromatis says prisoners there should be brought to trial or released and cites harsh interrogation techniques amounting to torture.
“They keep keeping them away from their homes, a lot of people – and after so many years, keeping them there, it makes a trial, if they ever find any evidence, a fair trial almost impossible”.
But US State department spokesman Sean McCormack expressed White House disapointment at the report, claiming it failed to reflect recent changes in procedures.
He said the UN did not give a fair hearing to what were detailed arguments about US compliance with the convention against torture.
“The President of the United States has said he doesn’t want the United States to be the world’s jailer. We, at some point in the future, would like to see the Guantanamo Bay closed down, but at the moment it is housing some dangerous people.”
The report has no binding authority over the US. It comes as the American authorities admit an outbreak of violence at the Guantanamo facility.Inmates are said to have clashed with guards as several prisoners attempted suicide using prescribed drugs.