Pentagon Review Reportedly Says Guantánamo Complies With Geneva Conventions

February 20, 2009

Results Highly Suspect, Says ACLU

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

NEW YORK – According to a report in the New York Times today, the Pentagon concluded that the Guantánamo Bay prison complies with the humanitarian requirements of the Geneva conventions. The findings come less than three weeks after President Obama ordered a review of conditions at the infamous prison facility. The review was conducted by Admiral Patrick M. Walsh, the vice chief of naval operations.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other rights groups have requested full access to the prison to independently examine the conditions there, but to date access has not been granted.

The following can be attributed to Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU:

"The reported Pentagon review of Guantánamo appears to be nothing more than a whitewash of the Bush practices of abusive treatment and illegal detention. How Admiral Walsh could have completed a thorough review of the conditions of confinement and treatment of prisoners over the past seven years in the lightning speed of seventeen days belies logic and underscores what a farce this process appears to be. Candidate Obama himself acknowledged that Guantánamo was a violation of domestic and international law. That's why the reported review, sweeping the abusive Bush policies under the rug, is so troubling.

"News reports that some Pentagon officials have been advocating the continuation of the Bush administration's failed detention policies make the results of Admiral Walsh's report highly suspect. The only way to get an accurate assessment of conditions at Guantánamo is through an objective review by independent parties who have complete access to the facility as well as government documents detailing the conditions at Guantánamo over the past seven years."

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