U.N. Special Rapporteur Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, the first such expert to visit the infamous Guantanamo Bay prison, said those responsible for the U.S. “cruel, inhuman and degrading” treatment of detainees there should be held accountable.
U.N. Special Rapporteur Fionnuala Ní Aoláin has asked U.S. authorities to shut down the infamous Guantanamo Bay prison and apologize for the torture of inmates. She asked that all those responsible for such abuses in the last 20 years be held accountable.
Ní Aoláin addressed a press conference in New York on the occasion of the U.N.’s International Day in Solidarity with the Victims of Torture on Monday. She also released her report on Guantanamo Bay prepared after visiting the prison earlier this year.
“The U.S. government must urgently provide judicial resolution, apology and guarantees of non-repetition,” Ní Aoláin said, claiming that the establishment was in violation of international human rights laws. She described the treatment of the remaining detainees at Guantanamo by the U.S. authorities as “cruel, inhuman and degrading.”
Her report emphasized that “the U.S. government is under a continuing obligation to complete thorough, independent and effective investigations into alleged violations, sanction those responsible, provide appropriate redress and reparation to all victims and adopt effective guarantees for non-repetition.”
Must read report by UNSR @NiAolainF absolutely savaging US for violating fundamental rights at #Guantanamo, including arbitrary detention, lack of medical care, #torture and cruel treatment, failure to safely transfer cleared men, and more. @theCCR https://t.co/99Sn0UvFjR
— Wells Dixon (@jwellsdixon) June 26, 2023
Ní Aoláin, who is Irish, was the first U.N. expert allowed by the U.S. to visit the detention center, which the Cuban government says was illegally built on occupied Cuban territory in 2002 in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks during the George Bush presidency. It was built as a part of Bush’s so-called war on terror and to avoid the U.S. domestic legal system.
Systemic Abuse & Torture
Since its inception, there were unconfirmed reports about torture and human rights violations being committed by U.S. officials. However, the systematic rights violations and methods of torture used on the inmates at Guantanamo Bay to extract confessions and false evidence were made public in a series of documents released by WikiLeaks in 2011, in what is known as the Gitmo Files.
Former detainees continue to be on the U.S. “terrorist watchlist” even after years of release, making their rehabilitation difficult, the report notes. It calls on the U.S. government to remove all ex-detainees from the terror watchlist and provide adequate compensation to former inmates.
At one point, there were close to 800 detainees at the Guantanamo prison. Most of the detainees have been released gradually after spending years at Gitmo without any charge or trial. However, 30 detainees still remain there, of whom 16 have been cleared for release by U.S. authorities. Only two of the 30 have been convicted so far, while nine others are being tried in military tribunals.
Reacting to Ní Aoláin’s report, President Joe Biden’s administration claimed that it provides protection to the inmates as per international and domestic laws [and “has made significant progress in reducing the detainee population.”]
This article is from Peoples Dispatch.
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