Monday, January 22, 2007

British MPs Take (a weak) Stand on Guantánamo

British lawmakers have issued a report urging Britain to pressure the U.S. to close its detention facilities in Guantánamo.

However, opposition MPs and human rights organizations have panned the report which calls for the closing of Guantánamo only as soon "as may be consistent with the overriding need to protect the public from terrorist threats." Although the report's authors spent only one day in Guantánamo and had no access to detainees, they assert that while abuses "almost certainly" occurred they are "unlikely to be taking place now."

Liberal Democrat MP, Sarah Teather dismissed the report saying the committee had been given "the VIP antiseptic tour." Amnesty International described it as a "missed opportunity" and attorney Clive Stafford Smith, the director of Reprieve, found the report to be full of factual errors and apparently based on a "show tour."

- Adrian Bleifuss Prados

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