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[Press release] Guantanamo: the United States cannot go on pretending not to hear!

June 2006

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Press release

Guantanamo: the United States cannot go on pretending not to hear!

Paris, June 13th, 2006

FIACAT is outraged. Despite the fact that the vast majority of commentators on the situation of the prisoners in Guantanamo are unanimous in calling for the centre to be closed and the detainees released or brought to trial, the United States of America does nothing. After the three recent deaths, how many deaths will it take to convince the biggest democracy of the world to close this place that denies fundamental human rights?

And yet the European Parliament is preparing, to adopt today a third resolution on the situation of prisoners in Guantanamo.

And yet the resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe of 25 April 2005 called into question the legality of the detentions in Guantanamo Bay.

And yet the report on Guantanamo of 15 February 2006, drawn up by five experts from the Human Rights Commission, called for the detention centre to be closed immediately and for the remaining detainees to be tried or released.

And yet the conclusions and recommendations of the UN Committee Against Torture regarding the United States of America, published on 19 May 2006, criticise the unlimited detention of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay and call for the centre to be closed.

And yet leading figures such as the German Chancellor, the British Prime Minister and the UN Secretary-General have called for the Guantanamo Bay detention centre to be closed.

Of course since 2001 the United States of America has forgotten that it was bound by international commitments. It has forgotten that torture is forbidden everywhere and at all times. But now, with so many calls to order, how can it go on pretending not to hear while at the same time vaunting itself as a democracy?

FIACAT reaffirms that the fight against terrorism cannot justify recourse to any form of torture or ill-treatment.

FIACAT calls on the US authorities to close the Guantanamo Bay centre and to release or bring to trial all the detainees, who have been held for far too long. No democracy should be allowed to disregard international law with such impunity.

Contact : Nathalie Jeannin - n.jeannin@fiacat.org

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