Friday, February 16, 2007

U.S. rejects investigator's Guantanamo visit request

U.S. rejects investigator's Guantanamo visit request
Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:32 AM ET

PARIS (Reuters) - A European investigator probing alleged CIA abuses of detainees said on Friday the United States has refused his request to visit the controversial U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to talk to inmates.

Council of Europe investigator Dick Marty had planned to travel to Guantanamo with Manfred Nowak, United Nations special rapporteur for torture, to question detainees about reports they were earlier held in secret prisons in Europe.

"The U.S. sent a very short reply saying that they couldn't accept his request to visit and talk to inmates," a spokesman for the Council of Europe said.

Over 20 mainly European countries colluded in a web of secret Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) jails and flight transfers of terrorism suspects stretching from Asia to Guantanamo Bay, Marty said in a June 2006 report.

"If I cannot speak freely with detainees -- as I understand from the American reply -- such a visit would be pointless," Marty said in a statement.

"I am disappointed at this refusal by the U.S., an observer to the Council of Europe, but my investigation continues."

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