Thursday, April 07, 2005
U.S. to U.N.: Visit Guantánamo but don't touch
Manfred Nowak met Monday afternoon with Pierre Prosper, the American ambassador-at-large for war crimes, and said U.S. officials would not guarantee him the right to speak to detainees in private, an "absolute precondition" for such a visit.
Nowak ... also said his team would need full access to the facilities and the prison population, conditions that Washington hesitated to agree to.
If the U.S. were to let Nowak run around talking to prisoners in private, we wouldn't know whom to punish afterward. Besides, he could get hurt.
Well, there are plenty of other U.S. gulags that Novak can investigate.
Oh... Maybe not. The Aljazeera account says,
... Nowak ruled out visits to other detention centers and said Guantanamo was the only possibility for 2005.
"I raised also Iraq and Afghanistan (with U.S. officials) and the response was: 'Let's first concentrate on Guantanamo and then let's see further,'" he explained.
Unlike other countries, the United States does not offer U.N. special investigators a standing invitation to visit the country or any places under its jurisdiction. In order for a fact-finding mission to take place, permission must be granted by Washington after terms are negotiated.
You can see why the U.S. hates Aljazeera. They've included a photo. All the U.S. versions stick to the text.
The Chinese wire service Xinhua also ran a brief story. The Chinese are naturally very interested in the U.S. position on unlawful detainees.