Dutch FM welcomes admission over secret prisons

7th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

7 September 2006, AMSTERDAM — Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot has welcomed the admission by US President George W. Bush that the CIA operates secret prisons outside America.

7 September 2006

AMSTERDAM — Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot has welcomed the admission by US President George W. Bush that the CIA operates secret prisons outside America.

Bot said it was important all prisoners held at these facilities are given the protection of the Geneva Convention. This would give the terrorism suspects the right to due process, a lawyer and visits from the Red Cross.

President Bush said on Wednesday 14 key terrorist suspects held overseas have now been sent to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where all inmates are to fall under the Geneva Convention.

In a robust defence of his policy, President Bush said the prisons were a vital tool in the war on terror and that intelligence gathered had saved lives. The CIA treated detainees humanely and did not use torture, he said.

Bot told Radio 1 On Thursday he was not surprised about the existence of the secret jails as there had been rumours about them for some time. But Bot said his was disappointed US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice had refused to answer him previously when he repeated asked whether the CIA operated such jails.

Rice had refused to confirm the existence of the secret jails but she did make other important statements, including a denial the CIA used torture.

Bot said he was now eagerly awaiting President Bush's new proposal on setting up military tribunals to try the terror suspects held in US custody. The Minster said he will be in a position to comment further once the  details of the plan are announced.

Bot said the surprising admission by the President days before the fifth anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks in the US had come about due to a combination of international pressure and American public opinion.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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