Greens urge US to close Guantanamo Bay

Green Party MP Keith Locke is to deliver a letter to the US Consulate in Auckland today calling for the United States to follow a United Nations recommendation and close down its Guantanamo Bay detention centre.

“The harsh treatment of the Guantanamo Bay prisoners, and lack of due process, is no longer acceptable to the international community,” Mr Locke says.

The recommendation comes in a UN Commission on Human Rights report published yesterday.

“America may be the world’s superpower, but it has now been told its abuse of prisoners is intolerable – and is undermining human rights standards worldwide. The torture and indefinite detention of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay cannot be condoned.

“It is important that all nations put pressure on the Bush administration to abide by the report and close down this hell-hole.

“The European Parliament is leading the way with a motion yesterday that the United States close its facility at Guantanamo.

“Today I will be also be sending in a Notice of Motion for the New Zealand Parliament: “That this House endorse the call in UN Commission on Human Right’s report, issued on February 16, for the United States ‘to close down the Guantanamo Bay detention centre and to refrain from any practice amounting to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment’ and to give detainees presently at the centre an independent trial or release them,” Mr Locke says.