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UN Asks U.S. To 'Stop Secret Detention and Abuse'

The UN has called on U.S. and other countries to put an end to their secret detention policies and human rights abuses in their so-called global war on terrorism. It has failed, however, to demand the immediate closure of two major U.S. "public" detention centres -- Guantanamo and Bagram, where human rights have been systematically violated, reaching the threshold of 'crimes against humanity'.

"Despite the fact that international law clearly prohibits secret detention, the practice is widespread and 'reinvigorated' by the so-called global war on terror," said UN independent experts.

In a 222-page study, to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in March, the UN experts conclude, "secret detention is irreconcilably in violation of international human rights law including during states of emergency and armed conflict."

Though the study does not explicitly mention specific countries, it is clearly referring to the U.S. and its allies, mainly Western powers, which carried out and/or participated in this kind of prohibited practices.

"Crime Against Humanity"

"Likewise, it is in violation of international humanitarian law during any form of armed conflict."

The study, elaborated by UN experts on counter-terrorism and torture, and the two UN expert bodies on arbitrary detention and enforced or involuntary disappearances, was announced on Jan 22.

In it, the UN experts alert, "If resorted to in a widespread or systematic manner, secret detention might reach the threshold of a crime against humanity."

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