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UN torture expert urges EU pressure on US to shut down Guantanamo

[JURIST] Manfred Nowak [official profile, DOC], the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture [official website] told reporters Thursday that the European Union should push the US to close its detention center at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] due to documented human rights violations [OHCHR report], and that EU countries should put some of the detainees on trial in their own courts. Last month, Nowak called on the US to charge the detainees [JURIST report], or release them without delay. Nowak also expressed concern over European nations extraditing suspected terrorists to countries where they could be tortured.

In recent months, many political actors have suggested that the US should end operations at the Guantanamo Bay detention center, including the UK Foreign Minister and Prime Minister Tony Blair, various Christian world leaders, several European ambassadors, and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan [JURIST reports]. While the US has no intention of closing Guantanamo [JURIST report], citing the security risk involved if the US were to release several hundred suspected terrorists, the US has taken steps to transfer Guantanamo Bay detainees to prisons in Afghanistan [JURIST report] and elsewhere. Reuters has more.

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