EU must pressure US over Guantanamo: Amnesty

10th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

10 January 2006, BRUSSELS - Human rights watchdog Amnesty International on Tuesday called on the European Union to press the U.S. government to close down its detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

10 January 2006

BRUSSELS - Human rights watchdog Amnesty International on Tuesday called on the European Union to press the U.S. government to close down its detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Amnesty asked the current Austrian Presidency of the 25-nation E.U. to follow in the steps of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who this week said the camps must be closed.

The German leader is expected to repeat her demands in Washington later this week.

Amnesty said that four years after the first prisoners were transferred to the naval base in Cuba, the U.S.-run detention centre must be shut down.

"Four years are four years too many of a shameful legal black hole which has been tolerated by the E.U.," Amnesty's Europe director Dick Oosting said in an open letter to the Austrian authorities.

The human rights organisation said it had also obtained new evidence which confirms earlier reports of torture in Guantanamo.

A testimony from one of the camp's first detainees "contains a first-hand account of physical and psychological torture and ill-treatment by U.S. personnel," it said.

"We are hearing of abuses similar to those of Abu Ghraib and yet Guantanamo is not being condemned in the same way," Oosting said.

Given the current row over allegations of prisons run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and secret CIA flights over European territory, the E.U. has to take a stand on the U.S. detention facility, he added.

DPA

Subject: German news

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