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Friday, October 13, 2006

Pentagon orders probe into Marine's report of Guantanamo detainee abuse
James M Yoch Jr at 12:10 PM ET

[JURIST] The US Department of Defense Inspector General [official website] on Friday announced that the armed force's Southern Command [official website] has been ordered to investigate [press release] allegations that detainee abuse is occurring at the military facility at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. Last week, USMC Lt. Col. Colby Vokey, who represents Canadian Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr [JURIST news archive], filed a complaint [JURIST report] based on comments a Marine paralegal allegedly overheard while visiting the prison. According to the paralegal, military guards suggested that abuse - including the arbitrary denial of privileges, physically striking detainees, and depriving the detainees of hydration - was "common practice" and laughed at stories of how prisoners had been handled.

On Thursday, UK Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett [official profile] called the lack of trials at Guantanamo "unacceptable" [JURIST report] in a human rights report. International rights groups have long urged the US to close the detention center, and their calls have lately been taken up by high-ranking officials in governments allied with the US in the "war on terror," including UK Attorney General Lord Goldsmith [JURIST report]. AP has more.

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