Rights group flays new Guantanamo guidelines
The guidelines released on Tuesday, drew criticism from a human rights group.india Updated: Jun 07, 2006 10:11 IST
The US military issued medical guidelines for the treatment of prisoners, formally directing doctors at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere to force-feed hunger strikers whose lives are in danger and granting doctors a limited role in interrogations.
The guidelines released on Tuesday, which the military said formalise existing rules and policies, drew criticism from a human rights group that said the military should not interfere with detainees who use hunger strikes as a protest and should bar experts in psychology from having any role during interrogations.
"It's wrong because a doctor's role is to provide care, to support a person's health and, as we all know, to do no harm," said Leonard Rubenstein, executive director of Physicians for Human Rights.
Dr William Winkenwerder, the US Assistant Secretary of Defence for Health Affairs, said the military crafted 'humane' standards aimed at preserving the lives of detainees while protecting military and civilian personnel at detention centres like that at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
"It's a thoughtful, comprehensive document that's based on high medical standards and ethical treatment of people," Winkenwerder insisted to reporters in a conference call.
In July, military investigators probing the conduct of a former Guantanamo Bay commander found that a detainee had been subjected to abusive and degrading treatment that included forcing him to wear a bra, dance with another man and behave like a dog. Former detainees have said they were kept in isolation and forced to listen to loud music.