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Guantanamo meets Geneva Convention requirements: Pentagon report

[JURIST] A report prepared for the Pentagon by US Navy Admiral Patrick Walsh [official profile] has concluded that the Guantanamo Bay detention center [JURIST news archive] meets the requirements of the Geneva Conventions [ICRC materials], according to Friday statements from US officials who have reviewed the document. The report, which has not been released, was prepared by the Pentagon in response to President Barack Obama's January 22 executive order [text; JURIST report] requiring the closure of the Guantanamo facility within one year. The report is believed to contain recommendations [NYT report] to alleviate solitary conditions in the prison by increasing the ability of detainees to speak with each other and congregate in communal spaces. The report also approved certain controversial tactics [Washington Post report] used at the facility, including the force feeding of inmates engaged in hunger strikes, and the placement of high-risk detainees in isolation.

Walsh was chosen [Pentagon press release; JURIST report] to lead the assessment of operations last month by Defense Secretary Robert Gates [official profile], pursuant to the January 22 executive order. Last week, the Obama administration announced that it had taken the first step towards closure of the Guantanamo facility by beginning a review of detainees [JURIST report] being held at the prison. The January 22 order called for the review to be conducted by a "Special Task Force on Detainee Disposition," which includes US Attorney General Eric Holder [official profile] and Gates as co-chairs. The review is intended to determine the options available in regards to the prosecution, transfer, or other dispositions of detainees, along with providing an assessment of detention policies. In addition, the order instructed Gates immediately to halt military commission [DOD materials; JURIST news archive] proceedings pending the comprehensive review, but did not specify where detainees would go upon release. The order also called for diplomatic efforts with foreign states in order to facilitate the closure of the facility.

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