Mr. Bush, Tear Down Your Secret Prisons

From Holden:

The UN Human Rights Committee cites the Bush Assministration for flagrant violations of international law (Hat-tip to Moonbootica).

A United Nations human rights body told Washington on Friday that any “secret detention” centers for terrorism suspects it operated abroad violated international law and should be shut immediately.

Saying it had “credible and uncontested” reports of such jails, the U.N. Human Rights Committee said the United States appeared to have been detaining people “secretly and in secret places for months and years”.

“The state party should immediately abolish all secret detention,” it said, echoing a similar demand in May by the U.N. Committee Against Torture.

Continues, Read More….

From Holden:

In its findings on U.S. observance of the U.N.’s main political rights’ treaty, the committee said that the International Committee of the Red Cross must be given access to anybody held during armed conflict.

The U.N. body also expressed concern at the acknowledged past use of interrogation techniques like prolonged stress positions and sleep deprivation that could be seen as torture.

While welcoming assurances that they were no longer used, it said it was worried the United States did not seem to see them as violations of international law. It also questioned the “impartiality and effectiveness” of investigations into abuse.


The committee, whose opinions carry moral, not legal weight, rejected Washington’s argument that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights only applies on U.S. soil.

A report last month for the Council of Europe, the European human rights watchdog said more than 20 European states had colluded in a web of secret CIA jails and flight transfers of terrorism suspects from Asia to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.


The U.N. treaty lays down individual rights, including the right to equality before the law and protection against torture and inhumane treatment as well as from arbitrary arrest.