Friday, February 27, 2009

UN Report: Foreign Agents Broke Rights Laws

Feb. 27, 2009

BERLIN - A U.N. special investigator has concluded in a report scheduled for release today that foreign intelligence agents sent to question U.S.-held terrorism suspects in Guantanamo Bay had violated international human-rights laws.

According to an advance copy of the report, Martin Scheinin, a Finnish diplomat and the U.N. special investigator for human rights, said foreign agents visiting Guantanamo or secret U.S. jails overseas committed "an internationally wrongful act" even if they merely observed interrogations.

"They were acting in breach of their legal obligations in regard to the prohibition on torture and arbitrary detention," Scheinin, who is also a law professor at the European University Institute in Florence, said.

The U.S. military has allowed agents from at least 18 countries to interrogate Guantanamo inmates, according to the Center for Constitutional Rights, a New York-based group that provides legal representation to many Guantanamo prisoners.

- Washington Post

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