U.N. condemns lack of due process in American-run Iraq prisons

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Friday, June 10, 2005

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The United Nations Secretary-General has criticised United States handling of prisoners in Iraq, during a recent report to the UN Security Council. He said that the prisoners were denied due legal process and other rights guaranteed under international law.

"One of the major human rights challenges remains the detention of thousands of persons without due process. Despite the release of some detainees, their number continues to grow. Prolonged detention without access to lawyers and courts is prohibited under international law including during states of emergency," the Secretary General's report said.

His argument is that since the US has declared that the occupation has ended and sovereignty has been handed to the Iraqi's, it has no legal right to detain prisoners.

The US military has defended its actions, saying that it has not breached prisoners' rights under the Geneva Conventions, and is acting to process current detainees as quickly as possible.