The UN rejects US conditions for inspecting GITMO, which are more restrictive than those agreed to by China.
The U.S. agreed after four years of negotiations to allow United Nations human rights officials to visit its Guantanamo Bay prison facility, while setting ground rules for interviews with detainees that would prevent the trip.
The Department of Defense said in an Oct. 27 letter that three human rights officials invited to Guantanamo Bay wouldn’t be allowed to conduct private interviews with suspected terrorists, according to Manfred Nowak, UN rapporteur on torture and other degrading treatment of prisoners. That’s a “non- negotiable” requirement for the visit, he said.
“It is the view of the U.S. government that the UN mandate does not pertain to matters of the status and treatment of persons captured during armed conflict,” Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Mark Ballesteros said in an interview. The U.S. lets only the International Committee of the Red Cross and attorneys for detainees conduct private interviews, he said.
Nowak said China has given the UN permission to conduct private interviews during a visit next month.
“We cannot accept lower standards for the U.S. than China,” Nowak said. “We won’t go to Guantanamo for the sort of guided tour given to members of Congress and the media.”