News ID: 3022895 -

UN experts urge US to close Guantanamo prison

NEW YORK, Jan. 12 (MNA) – UN human rights experts urged the US government to close Guantanamo prison as the only way to put an end to impunity and violations prevailing there.

The United States must turn a page on this dark chapter of post-9/11 practices in response to terrorism, they said in an joint open letter with experts from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Fourteen years after the detention center became operational, the experts stated that everyone implicated, including at the highest level of authority, must be held accountable for ordering those human rights violations.

They must be held accountable for ordering or executing secret detention, arbitrary arrest of civilians and so-called ‘enhanced interrogation techniquesâ€Ö in the name of combating terrorism, the experts said.

The open letter was signed by UN Special Rapporteurs on torture, Juan E. Méndez; on human rights and counterterrorism, Ben Emmerson; on independence of the judiciary, Mónica Pinto; the Chair-Rapporteur of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Seong-Phil Hong; and the director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human

Rights, Michael Georg Link.

The specialists regretted that close to 100 detainees still languish in Guantanamo prison after years of arbitrary detention without trial, outside the rule of law and the reach of the US regular courts, despite an executive order issued by President Barak Obama in January 2009 to release or transfer them and close the facility within one year.