U.N. High Commissioner Criticizes U.S. Over Guantanamo
Navanethem Pillay, a lawyer from South Africa who serves as the U.N.'s top Human Rights offical, criticized President Obama and the U.S. today over the continued detention of Guantanamo detainees:
In her most detailed statement on U.S. detention policy, the South African lawyer criticized President Obama's decision to hold some suspected terrorists in detention indefinitely without a trial. She also called for a probe into officials who participated in torture sessions or provided the legal justification for it.
"People who order or inflict torture cannot be exonerated, and the roles of certain lawyers, as well as doctors who have attended torture sessions, should also be scrutinized," Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, said in a statement dedicated to victims of torture.
In addition to asking Obama to hold those responsible for torture accountable, she said:
In May, Obama said some detainees deemed too dangerous to release might have to be held indefinitely.
"There should be no half-measures, or new creative ways to treat people as criminals when they have not been found guilty of any crime," Pillay said. "Guantanamo showed that torture and unlawful forms of detention can all too easily creep back in to practice during times of stress, and there is still a long way to go before the moral high ground lost since 9/11 can be fully reclaimed committed torture accountable
She called on Obama to release the detainees at Guantanamo who have not been charged or to find homes for them in other countries:
Pillay said that detainees who are not prosecuted and potentially face torture if they are sent back to their own countries "must be given a new home, where they can start to build a new life, in the United States or elsewhere.
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