Pillay calls for the closure of the Guantanamo detention centre

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UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has urged all branches of the United States Government to work together to close the Guantanamo detention centre.

In a statement issued on Friday, Pillay said that the continuing indefinite incarceration of many of the detainees, in most cases without charge or trial, amounts to arbitrary detention and is in clear breach of international law.

The High Commissioner expressed her deep disappointment that the US Government has not been able to close Guantanamo Bay, despite repeatedly committing itself to do so.

She said that the issue "severely undermines the United States' stance that it is an upholder of human rights, and weakens its position when addressing human rights violations elsewhere."

As a first step, Pillay called for the release of all those who have been cleared for release.

The High Commissioner also called on the US Government to grant UN Human Rights Council experts full and unfettered access to the facility and allow them to meet privately with detainees.

The Guantanamo Bay detention camp opened in 2002 to hold suspects following the terrorist attacks of September 2001.

Gerry Adams, United Nations.

Duration: 1'17"

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