February 21, 2009 in Nation/World

Pentagon says Guantanamo meets Geneva Conventions

Josh Meyer Los Angeles Times
 

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon has concluded that the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay meets the standards for humane treatment of detainees established in the Geneva Conventions accords.

In a report for President Barack Obama on conditions at Guantanamo, the Pentagon recommended some changes – primarily providing some of the most troublesome inmates with more group recreation and opportunities for prayer – according to an administration official who has read the report and spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing its confidential nature.

The lengthy report was done by a top Navy official, Adm. Patrick M. Walsh, in response to Obama’s Jan. 22 executive order to close the facility within a year.

Obama has criticized the detention center, and human rights advocates have condemned it as violating the Geneva Conventions, which were established to protect the rights of those held in detention by other countries, including in times of war.

The administration official said that the report’s primary conclusions supported the Department of Defense’s long-standing contention that Guantanamo was in compliance with the international conventions, including Article 3, which requires the humane treatment of prisoners taken in unconventional armed conflicts such as the war on terrorism.

Human rights groups are planning to take issue with Walsh’s finding that Guantanamo complies with Geneva requirements.


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