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Argument: US conditions on the 2006 UN visit to Guantanamo were inappropriate

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Supporting evidence

  • "Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. Civil and Political Rights. Situation of detainees at Guantánamo Bay". United Nations Economic and Social Council. February 15, 2006 - "2. Since January 2002, the five mandate holders have been following the situation of detainees held at the United States Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay. In June 2004, they decided to continue this task as a group because the situation falls under the scope of each of the mandates. The focus of each mandate holder is on the law, allegations and recommendations relevant to his or her mandate as defined by the relevant resolutions of the Commission on Human Rights establishing the respective mechanism. However, the mandate holders consider that they can better discharge their reporting obligations to the Commission by submitting one joint report on this subject rather than five individual reports. 3. In studying the situation, they have continuously sought the cooperation of the United States authorities and on 25 June 2004, they sent a letter, followed by several reminders, requesting the United States Government to allow them to visit Guantánamo Bay in order to gather first hand information from the prisoners themselves. By letter dated 28 October 2005, the Government of the United States of America extended an invitation for a one-day visit to three of the five mandate holders, inviting them “to visit the Department of Defense’s detention facilities [of Guantánamo Bay]”. The invitation stipulated that “the visit will not include private interviews or visits with detainees”. In their response to the Government dated 31 October 2005, the mandate holders accepted the invitation, including the short duration of the visit and the fact that only three of them were permitted access, and informed the United States Government that the visit was to be carried out on 6 December 2005. However, they did not accept the exclusion of private interviews with detainees, as that would contravene the terms of reference for fact-findings missions by special procedures and undermine the purpose of an objective and fair assessment of the situation of detainees held in Guantánamo Bay. In the absence of assurances from the Government that it would comply with the terms of reference, the mandate holders decided on 18 November 2005 to cancel the visit."

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