UN: closing U.S. prison at Guantanamo is a priority


HAVANA,  Jun 27 (ACN) After an evaluation of the U.S. military prison in the illegally occupied territory of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the United Nations (UN) determined that its closure is a priority due to the injustices committed.

Fionnuala Ni Aolain, special rapporteur on the protection of human rights while countering terrorism, noted during a visit to the base that all the prisoners are living with constant harm as a result of systematic practices of torture and arbitrary detention.

A statement by the specialist, quoted by Prensa Latina, expresses great concern for the continued imprisonment of 30 men and the systematic arbitrariness that characterizes their daily lives, which brings “insecurity, suffering and anxiety to all, without exception”.

The infrastructure involves almost constant surveillance, forced extractions from cells, improper use of restraints and other operational procedures that violate respect for human rights, the text highlights.

It also mentions deficiencies in health care, inadequate access to family, and arbitrary detention characterized by constant violations of fair trials.

All these practices and omissions have cumulative and aggravating effects on the dignity and fundamental rights of the detainees, and amount to continuous cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, concluded Ni Aolain, and declared that for all these reasons it is a priority to close this facility.

She also met with repatriated and resettled prisoners, after which she identified serious deficiencies in the provision of the essential means that ex-refugees need to live, including legal identity, medical care, education, housing, family reunification and freedom of movement.

In the conclusion of her report, the Special Rapporteur called on the U.S. government to ensure accountability for all violations of international law.

Ni Aolain’s visit was the first official visit by a UN expert to the Guantanamo base, established since 2002 as a detention center for prisoners accused of terrorism.