US Isolated on Guantánamo

GENEVA – A team of United Nations human rights experts set forth sharply worded arguments Thursday against the U.S. detention center at the naval base at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba and announced that investigations into secret detention centers would continue in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries. The five investigators urged the UN Human Rights Council … Continue reading “US Isolated on Guantánamo”

International Probe into Torture in Iraqi Prison Urgently Needed, Says UN

The United Nations has called for an urgent international investigation into the conditions of detainees in Iraq, after the discovery last weekend of a Baghdad prison where detainees were tortured. The kind of investigation called for by Louise Arbour, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, matches the demands of Sunni Muslim leaders in Iraq, … Continue reading “International Probe into Torture in Iraqi Prison Urgently Needed, Says UN”

Dozens of Abu Ghraibs?

GENEVA – U.S. human rights groups have announced before the UN Human Rights Committee that there are perhaps dozens of secret detention centers around the world where Washington is holding an unknown number of prisoners as part of its "war on terror." This week in Geneva, the Committee began to examine the United States’ compliance … Continue reading “Dozens of Abu Ghraibs?”

Uzbek Uprising Triggered by Rights Violations, Say Activists

The popular uprising and subsequent crackdown by government troops that left hundreds dead in the eastern Uzbek city of Andijan confirm the international community’s concern over human rights violations in this central Asian nation. According to Nozima Kamalova, chairwoman of the Uzbekistan Legal Aid Society – one of the country’s leading human rights organizations – … Continue reading “Uzbek Uprising Triggered by Rights Violations, Say Activists”

13 Years On, No Solution in Sight for Refugees in Nepali Camps

GENEVA – More than 100,000 refugees from the small Himalayan nation of Bhutan continue to languish in camps in Nepal, while neither talks between the governments of the two South Asian kingdoms nor the international community have come up with any plan to put an end to their forced exile, which has dragged on for … Continue reading “13 Years On, No Solution in Sight for Refugees in Nepali Camps”

Eight-Year UN Disarmament Stalemate Continues

GENEVA – The stalemate continues in the Conference on Disarmament (CD), which for the eighth year in a row ended its annual sessions this week without reaching an agreement on a working program among its 66 member states. The CD works by consensus, which means it cannot undertake new work without the agreement of all … Continue reading “Eight-Year UN Disarmament Stalemate Continues”

‘Wrenching Questions’ Remain a Year After UN Baghdad Bombing

GENEVA – The bomb attack on the United Nations offices in Baghdad a year ago Thursday posed "wrenching, fundamental questions" for the world body with respect to security, to which answers have not yet been found. Speaking on the first anniversary of the suicide bombing of the Canal Hotel, where the UN had its offices … Continue reading “‘Wrenching Questions’ Remain a Year After UN Baghdad Bombing”

UN: US Soldiers May Be Guilty of War Crimes

GENEVA (IPS) – A new report from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights concludes that “grave violations” – even potential war crimes – have occurred since the U.S.-led forces have occupied Iraq, leaving “a stain upon the effort to bring freedom” to that country. The acting high commissioner, Bertrand Ramcharan, issued a call Friday … Continue reading “UN: US Soldiers May Be Guilty of War Crimes”

UN Demands US, Britain Give Reports on Prison Torture

The United Nations Committee Against Torture has demanded that the United States and Britain present reports about the incidents in the prisons in Iraq controlled by the armed forces of the occupying countries, as more photographs and videos of mistreatment were made public Friday. The Committee said the incidents of torture, humiliation and mistreatment of … Continue reading “UN Demands US, Britain Give Reports on Prison Torture”

Cuba Backs Down Over Guantánamo Challenge to US

The situation of the detainees at the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo has been taboo for the United Nations human rights system, but particularly since Cuba decided Thursday not to pursue its moderately worded resolution against the United States. Cuba’s ambassador Iván Mora Godoy told the U.N. Commission on Human Rights that his country was … Continue reading “Cuba Backs Down Over Guantánamo Challenge to US”