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Pentagon releases Guantanamo detainee treatment review

[JURIST] The US Department of Defense Monday officially released its anticipated report [text, PDF; JURIST report] on detainee treatment at Guantanamo Bay in compliance with President Barack Obama's January 22 executive order [text] mandating the review [JURIST report]. As expected, the report concluded that conditions at the prison "are in conformity with Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions." The report made several recommendations to improve conditions, however, including increasing detainee-to-detainee contact, better training for guards, easier detainee access to health care services and video recording of interrogations. Introducing the report at a Pentagon press conference [transcript], review head and Vice Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Patrick Walsh [official profile; JURIST report], was careful to distinguish between possible past violations of the Geneva Conventions and the current situation at the facility: "In each case where there were violations the command took appropriate action, and there was discipline and accountability and that is what we are looking for here".

Walsh's report was immediately attacked by the Center for Constitutional Rights [advocacy website] which released its own report [text] detailing alleged violations at Guantanamo Bay and calling for an end to abusive practices. The review and the executive order are seen as significant steps towards fulfillment of Obama's pledge to shut down [JURIST report] Guantanamo Bay within a year of taking office.

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