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Sanjuro

ICRC slams U.S. over secret detainees

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The United States has again refused to allow the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) access to foreign suspects held in secret detention centers, the Geneva-based agency said in a statement on Friday.

The ICRC statement came after ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger met with top American officials, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.

The main objective of Kellenberger’s visit was to press Washington to allow ICRC access to “all persons held by the U.S. in the context of the fight against terrorism, an issue he first raised with the U.S. government over two years ago," the agency said.

"Mr. Kellenberger deplored the fact that the U.S. authorities had not moved closer to granting the ICRC access to persons held in undisclosed locations," it added.

The United States has been facing mounting international criticism over the number of suspects it holds and the conditions at its prisons in Guantanamo Bay, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the world.

Washington, moreover, came under increasing scrutiny after media reports revealed it was holding an unknown number of suspects in secret locations overseas, refusing either to acknowledge the detentions or to give information on the fate or the whereabouts of those detainees.

* “No right”

ICRC says that it was told by U.S. authorities that there were “legitimate grounds” for holding foreign terror suspects who posed a threat to the United States.

But Kellenberger said: "No matter how legitimate the grounds for detention, there exists no right to conceal a person's whereabouts or to deny that he or she is being detained."

The former top Swiss diplomat stressed that the ICRC would continue to seek access to these people "as a matter of priority" despite the "the disappointing lack of results and the current U.S. position".

Antonella Notari, chief ICRC spokeswoman, said that "it is absolutely vital for such people to be held in a clear legal framework and that they are granted all basic judicial safeguards,"

"Obviously this includes those people held in secret places of detention."

There was no immediate comment from the United States.

Last December, the state department spokesman Adam Ereli admitted that "there are some" detainees to whom the U.S. refuses to grant access.

The International Committee Red Cross is the only independent organization which can have access to suspects in U.S. jails in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.

The ICRC should be allowed to visit prisoners of war, but the U.S. classifies its detainees as "enemy combatants", denying them their legal rights under the Geneva Conventions.

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S

Way to go..way to go..

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The ICRC should be allowed to visit prisoners of war, but the U.S. classifies its detainees as "enemy combatants", denying them their legal rights under the Geneva Conventions.

They fight for no nation, wear no uniform and did not sign the Geneva Convention. Therefore they don't get the rights of Geneva.

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They fight for no nation, wear no uniform and did not sign the Geneva Convention. Therefore they don't get the rights of Geneva.

Well, yeah, random civilians from the street dont get the rights of Geneva.. :rolleyes:

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What kind of message do we send to the rest of the world when we do this?

Hate and discrimination...

I personally believe that if we are going to hold anyone they should be allowed basic human rights, and the Red Cross is there to make sure they get them...

We are committing war crimes; weather or not these people fight for a country is something altogether different, what if Germany decided not to recognize the US as a country? And then refused to stick to the Geneva conventions?

People are people how can people like the bush administration ignore that?

As an American I believe we should stand up and show the world we do not agree with this, we are guaranteed rights, and we should respect other in the same way we would respect our own, we should be an example of the good in the world, not another example of torturing murderers that denies people the dignity of being alive...

We take away their humanity, and we treat them like dirt....

We wouldn't want our own treated like that, and now that we are treating people like that, others will have even more of an excuse to treat our soldiers like that...

Turning our backs on the Geneva Convention does nothing but weaken it, and it's main purpose, not to mention we lose the respect and admiration of even more of the world...

This is not American to me, and it does not fit in to my American morals...

It must be stopped and we need to start looking at what the constitution says, not what the media and bush says...

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