US must abolish secret detention facilities: UN rights panel
GENEVA – The UN Human Rights Committee has called on the United States to immediately abolish all secret detention facilities, in a report raising deep concerns about the conduct of the “war on terror”.
Information on secret detentions was “credible and uncontested”, the panel said in its final report after an examination of the United States’s human rights record.
“The state party should immediately abolish all secret detention facilities.
It should also grant prompt access by the International Committee of the Red Cross to any person detained in connection with an armed conflict,” the committee said in its final recommendations on Friday.
“The committee is concerned by credible and uncontested information that the state party has seen fit to engage in the practice of detaining people secretly and in secret places for months and years on end,” it added.
Reports in recent months have alleged that the US Central Intelligence Agency conducts “extraordinary renditions” — the covert transfer of terrorism suspects to third countries or US-run detention centres.
Committee member Ivan Shearer said the “war on terror” was “not a legal state of affairs but rather a rhetorical phrase that seems to be taken rather literally… People can be held forever”.
The 18 legal experts appointed by the UN oversee implementation of the world’s core human rights treaty, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.