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UN Panel Says U.S. Must Eradicate Torture

Prisoners at the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (file photo) (AFP) May 19, 2006 -- The United Nations Committee Against Torture says the United States must eradicate "all forms of torture and ill-treatment" of detainees by U.S. military and civilian personnel.

The panel presented its conclusions in Geneva today from a hearing earlier this month into the U.S. conduct in the war on terror.

Fernando Marino Menendez, the panel's rapporteur on the United States, told a news conference in Geneva that the committee also urged that Washington shut down any secret prisons abroad as well as the Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba:

"We expressed our conviction that Guantanamo should be closed definitively," Menendez said. "We indicated that some interrogation techniques used were prohibited by the Convention [against Torture] and we gave concrete examples."

The United States is holding hundreds of terrorism suspects, most arrested since the attacks of September 11, 2001. The suspects are being held in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Guantanamo Bay.

(AP, Reuters, AFP)