[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak [ICJ profile] said Tuesday that the UN has learned of serious allegations that the US is secretly detaining prisoners aboard military vessels, perhaps in the Indian Ocean in the vicinity of the US island base at Diego Garcia [official website]. Nowak acknowledged that the allegations were only rumors but added that they were "very, very serious" and "appear sufficiently well-based to merit an official inquiry." Last week Nowak publicly complained [JURIST report] that the US was stalling on his request to visit detainees at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] and urged a swift response which has not yet been forthcoming. British security expert Francis Tusa said that if the US is holding prisoners aboard ships in international waters it would allow them to interrogate the prisoners outside the reach of US laws, in the same fashion that Guantanamo was deemed to be beyond the reach of US law before a Supreme Court ruling last year that gave detainees there recourse against the US government in federal courts. AFP has more.