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UN Anti-Torture Panel Tells US to Close Guantanamo Bay


The U.N. Committee Against Torture says the United States should close its prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as part of an effort to "eradicate" torture by its own personnel.

The panel of 10 independent experts released a brief report Friday from its headquarters in Geneva, urging Washington to close any secret detention facilities holding suspected terrorists overseas. The United Nations committee says such a practice constitutes an act of torture or cruel and inhuman punishment.

The report also expresses concerns over reports of torture by U.S. military or civilian personnel at facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.N. panel says the U.S. should end all forms of torture, investigate allegations promptly and thoroughly, and prosecute those responsible.

The Bush administration sent a team of diplomats to appear before the U.N. committee earlier this month to defend treatment of foreign terrorism suspects.

The committee's 10 members are Senegal, Egypt, the United States, Chile, Spain, Cyprus, Ecuador, Denmark, Russia and China.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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