UN to investigate “US Prison Ships”

According to the Washington Times (free reg required) and the BBC, the UN is set to launch an investigation that the US is secretly using “prison ships” based in the Indian Ocean to hold suspected terrorists.

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The BBC reports:

The special rapporteur on torture, Manfred Nowak, said the claims were rumours at this stage, but urged the US to co-operate with an investigation.

He said the UN wants lists of the places of detention and those held.

He told the BBC there were a number of allegations from reliable sources that the US was holding terrorist suspects in secret places of detention, including vessels abroad.

Mr Nowak said the charges of secret detention camps were very serious, amounting to enforced disappearances.

These are indeed serious allegations that, if true, clearly violate the Geneva Conventions. Rumours or not, they must be investigated.

If found to be true, or if the United States refuses to prove them to be false (as they have done at Gitmo), it will only add more fuel to the US Military Detention system fire.

This also comes only days after we learned that the a UN team has been trying to gain access to Guantanamo for the past year, but has yet to receive a response from the United States.

One has to wonder why the United States is opening itself up to these sorts of allegations when just a touch more honesty would go a long way toward dispel these allegations as the simple rumours that they hopefully are.

3 thoughts on “UN to investigate “US Prison Ships””

  1. If found to be true, or if the United States refuses to prove them to be false (as they have done at Gitmo), it will only add more fuel to the US Military Detention system fire.

    Chris, this is shameless rumor-mongering. How can you prove a negative? By this standard, the US is automatically guilty of everything crime of which our critics accuse us.

    How convenient.

  2. Chris, your kind of “honesty” can wind up killing innocent people, by (1) revealing to our enemies details about our detention processes that they can then counter or exploit, and (2) push our politicians to grant unjustified protections to these detainees, even to the point of their release (and return to terrorism).

    You demand more honesty about Gitmo, than you did about Saddam’s WMD programs.

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