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Annan Welcomes US Endorsement Of Geneva Convention


New York, Jul 13 2006 10:00AM

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed the United States Government’s decision to ensure that all its actions affecting alleged Al Qaida or Taliban militants comply with the standards of the Geneva Conventions, specifically Article 3 which mandates proper judicial procedures and bans humiliating and degrading treatment.

“The Secretary-General believes this decision strengthens the international rule of law, and is true to the US’s strong tradition of respect for civil liberties,” a <"">statement issued by his spokesman said.

“He also believes, and has frequently stated, that strict compliance with international humanitarian and human rights law in no way contradicts or undermines efforts to counter terrorism, but on the contrary is essential to the success of those efforts.”

Through his spokesman, the Secretary-General, who is travelling in Rome, encouraged all countries “to keep their legislation and practices under constant review, with a view to ensuring that they are in conformity with international humanitarian and human rights laws.”

Last week, five independent UN human rights experts renewed their call for the speedy closure of the US detention centre at Guantánamo Bay, noting that it still holds more than 450 prisoners suspected of Al Qaida or Taliban links in breach of international human rights law.

The five, who specialize in issues related to arbitrary detention, freedom of religion, health rights, torture and the independence of judges and lawyers, welcomed the US Supreme Court’s recent decision that the tribunals created for prisoners at Guantánamo violated the Geneva Conventions and US military law.

2006-07-13 00:00:00.000

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