UN slams US for human rights abuses

The UN criticised the US over its Guantanamo Bay prison camp, among other issues.

The United States was criticised for its human rights standards on May 12 after the country's compliance with international human rights standards were assessed by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR).

The UN criticised the US for police violence, racial discrimination, torture, use of the death penalty, and Guantanamo Bay prison, among other issues.

Washington attended the country’s second Universal Periodic Review in Geneva, a procedure in which the UN body analyses human rights in UN member states. The UNHCR received a delegation of US human rights groups and experts, which denounced a series of violations in the country.

One of the key demands made by the 117 states taking part in the collective review was for Washington to take measures to prevent acts of torture in areas outside their national territory and to prosecute perpetrators, as well as provide assistance to the victims of torture.

“Today was a demonstration of the no confidence vote that world opinion has made of the United States as a country that considers itself a human rights champion,” said Jamil Dakwar, director of the Human Rights Program of the American Civil Liberties Union.

The member states also criticised the failure of the Obama administration to close down Guantanamo Bay prison, notorious for the torture practices carried out there on inmates lacking basic legal protections.

Sources from the US delegation said the UN is negotiating with the White House a visit from Juan Mendez, UN special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, to Guantanamo.

In March, Mendez complained that Washington did not intend to give him access during his visit to the more than 100 inmates still in Guantanamo.

[Reprinted from TeleSUR English.]

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