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UN torture investigator denied access to US prisons in Iraq

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak [UN profile] said Tuesday that US officials have refused to grant him access to US prisons operating in Iraq when he travels to the country later in the year. Nowak told reporters in Geneva that US officials told him the facilities were outside his purview because of the ongoing military conflict in the country. A US State Department [official website] official told AP that Nowak was denied access for operational reasons and that only the International Committee of the Red Cross [official website] has been allowed access [JURIST report] to US facilities because of security concerns.

Nowak said he had received credible reports that conditions in US prisons in Iraq have been improving and expressed surprise that the US did not want to take advantage of an opportunity to show that the practices uncovered at Abu Ghraib [JURIST news archive] were not ongoing at US facilities. AP has more. Reuters has additional coverage.

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