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UN Rights Experts Seek Access To Prisoners In Iraq

UN Rights Experts Seek Access To Prisoners In Iraq, Afghanistan And Guantánamo

Noting serious alarm in the international community about certain detention conditions, nearly three dozen United Nations human rights experts today called for UN access to those people who have been "arrested, detained or tried on grounds of alleged terrorism or other violations in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Guantánamo military base and elsewhere."

At their 11th annual meeting in Geneva, 31 participants expressed "their unanimous desire" that four of them with particularly relevant mandates see the prisoners as soon as possible to check that international human rights standards are being upheld.

The four experts recommended to make the visits were the Rapporteurs on the independence of judges and lawyers, on arbitrary detention, on the right of everyone to physical and mental health and on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

These four would also make themselves available "to the authorities concerned" for consultation and advice on all issues within their areas of competence, they said.

In a separate statement, the human rights experts deplored targeted killings, demolition of Palestinian houses and other practices by Israeli authorities and denounced "the practice of 'suicide bombings' carried out against the Israeli population."

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