U.N. Investigator: 80,000 People Held in Solitary Confinement in U.S. Every Day
The top United Nations investigator on torture, Juan Mendez, has been alleging that Washington is dragging its heels when it comes to granting him access to visits of federal prisons and allowing him to talk with detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Mendez’s biggest criticism has been the US’s solitary confinement policies and whether they are a violation of human rights laws.
Ben Swann speaks with constitutional rights attorney Pardiss Kebriaei about the tensions growing between the State Department and the United Nations.
The Pentagon said it will refuse the United Nations special rapporteur on torture from interviewing or even meeting detainees held at the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay. The UN’s Juan E. Mendez called for increased access to the prison last week.
The Guardian reported Sunday that the Obama administration had reaffirmed its commitment to secrecy at the notorious detention center following a visit to Gitmo by a handful of new US senators who are supportive of the prison.
Méndez, the UN’s special rapporteur on torture, “has been invited to visit Guantánamo; however, he will not be permitted to interview detainees,” Army Lieutenant Colonel Myles Caggins, a Pentagon spokesman, told the Guardian.
Last week, Méndez said he has been offered certain terms attached to a Gitmo visit, yet he, like his predecessor in 2004, declined to accept based on stipulations he deemed too narrow.