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UN Rights Panel: US Should Close Secret Detention Facilities


The U.N. Human Rights Committee is calling on the United States to "immediately shut down" any alleged secret detention facilities used in its campaign against terrorist groups.

In a report released Friday, the committee says it has credible and uncontested information that Washington secretly detained people in secret places for several months and years on end.

The U.N. body urges the U.S. to grant the International Committee of the Red Cross prompt access to any person detained in connection with an armed conflict.

The report also expressed concern that the United States had in the past authorized interrogation techniques including prolonged stress positions, isolation, sleep and food deprivation and hooding.

U.S. officials have yet to comment on the new U.N. human rights report.

International human rights advocates and many U.S. allies have criticized the Bush administration for its policies toward terrorism suspects held at alleged secret detention facilities, and at the detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled recently that terrorism suspects being held at Guantanamo are entitled to protection under the Geneva Conventions. The Bush Adminstration previously maintained the Geneva Conventions did not apply but the detainees were being treated in conditions consistent with those rights.

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