UN calls for closure of base at Guantanamo bay

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The Independent US

The United States should release all detainees being held at its detention centre in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, or bring them to trial and shut the facility down, the United Nations said in a report released today.

The 54-page report, summarising an investigation by five UN experts, called on the US government "to close down the Guantanamo Bay detention centre and to refrain from any practice amounting to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment."

But the US ambassador to UN offices in Geneva, Kevin Moley, responded that the investigation had taken little account of evidence provided by the United States and that the five UN experts rejected an invitation to visit Guantanamo.

"It is particularly unfortunate that the special rapporteurs rejected the invitation and that their unedited report does not reflect the direct, personal knowledge that this visit would have provided," Moley wrote in a response that was included at the end of the report.

The United States had invited the experts to Guantanamo but would not let them interview detainees, so they refused to go.

The report's findings were based on interviews with former detainees, public documents, media reports, lawyers and a questionnaire filled out by the US government.