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Blair 'hopes' for Guantanamo closure

[JURIST] [JURIST Europe] UK Prime Minister Tony Blair [official profile] told the British House of Commons Wednesday that he hopes the US will close its much-criticized detention camp at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], but measured his words by adding that the US had justifiably opened it in response to the September 11 attacks. He referred to what he called a "judicial process" that could provide a means of closing the camp, presumably referring to the adjudication of cases involving current detainees. Blair was sharply criticized last month in the wake of the release of a scathing UN report [text, PDF] on the prison after he said it was an "anomaly" that had to be "dealt with" [JURIST report] but did follow other world leaders in actually calling for it to be shut down. The Guardian has local coverage.

Also Wednesday, Blair’s wife Cherie Booth [Wikipedia profile], a human rights lawyer, condemned all practices that have incorporated torture in the name of the war on terror in a speech at Chatham House [press release], a British international affairs think-tank. Her remarks come in the wake of an Amnesty International report [official text] about the UK's human rights abuses in the fight against terrorism. Although Booth did not mention Guantanamo Bay specifically, she derided several practices that the US government has allegedly committed at Guantanamo, such as obtaining forced confessions from detainees through torture. The Independent has local coverage. AP has more.

Tatyana Margolin is an Associate Editor for JURIST Europe, reporting European legal news from a European perspective. She is based in the UK.

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