Belgian Senate chief to visit Guantanamo
2 March 2006, BRUSSELS — The president of the Belgian Senate, Anne-Marie Lizin, will visit the US prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba on Friday.
2 March 2006
BRUSSELS — The president of the Belgian Senate, Anne-Marie Lizin, will visit the US prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba on Friday.
Senator Lizin is visiting the prison in her capacity as special representative on Guantanamo for the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which Belgium is chairing this year.
A spokesman for the Senate said on Thursday the Socialist PS senator will present a report about her visit to Guantanamo to the annual general assembly of the OSCE in Brussels at the start of July.
The report will focus on the efficiency of the fight against terrorism and the respect of human rights.
Some 500 people are being held at the Guantanamo US naval base. Most were captured in Afghanistan after the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US. Few have been charged or given a trial and some are on hunger strike.
Lizin will not be given permission to speak with detainees, but will instead tour the facility and ask questions of its command and staff.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is the only organisation allowed to conduct interviews with the detainees, but only releases its findings to the US.
The US Department of Defense extended an invitation to Lizin — a human rights expert — to visit Guantanamo on 9 December last year.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news