U.N. Committee Calls for Closure of Guantanamo Bay
The UN Committee Against Torture has released their report and recommendation for the United States. It includes a statement that “The State party should cease to detain any person at Guantanamo Bay and close this detention facility.” The report is available here.
I franky am somewhat surprised that the U.N. Committee flatly called for the closure of Guantanamo Bay. The Committee’s mandate is to ensure compliance with the obligations under the Convention. Thus, their focus should be on the treatment of detainees, not the location of those detainees. There obviously are valid arguments for the closure of Guantanomo Bay, as Lord Goldsmith outlined in his recent speech. The most obvious of those arguments is that Guantanamo Bay has become, in his words, a “symbol to many – right or wrong – of injustice.” But it is another thing altogether for a U.N. Committee to make legal arguments that the United States cannot legally comply with its obligations under the Convention if detainees are held in prison X or detention facility Y. I would welcome the thoughts of others on this.
Also, if anyone is aware of a response from the United States to the report please post it in the comments.