EU parliament calls for closure of Guantanamo
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EU parliament calls for closure of Guantanamo

EU called on them to "adopt a common approach" ahead of a summit with US President George W Bush in Vienna next week.

india Updated: Jun 13, 2006 21:44 IST

The European Parliament on Tuesday called on European leaders to use a high-level summit next week to demand that Washington close its "war on terror" detention centre at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

In a resolution, the assembly urged European Union members to "institute a joint action calling on the US government to close the Guantanamo Bay detention centre and act in accordance with international law regarding the treatment of detainees."

It called on them to "adopt a common approach" ahead of a summit with US President George W Bush in Vienna next week.

Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, said on Monday that the bloc would use the June 21-22 summit to press for the closure of Guantanamo Bay.

The camp -- which hit the headlines again after the suicide of three inmates -- has long been a cause of concern for the European bloc.

Camp guards at Guantanamo found three inmates -- two Saudis and a Yemeni -- hanged from ceilings of cells in the maximum security section of the camp at a US Naval base in Cuba on Saturday.

The EU parliament resolution reaffirmed that all Guantanamo inmates should be treated in accordance with international humanitarian law and, if charged, be granted a swift, fair, public and independent trial.

It called on Washington to prevent the use of so-called "special interrogation techniques," which constitute torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment -- such as sexual humiliation, "short shackling", in which detainees' hands are shackled to the floor, and the use of dogs to induce fear.

The US authorities must ensure that all allegations of torture and other ill-treatment involving US personnel are subject to prompt and thorough investigation and trial, the text said.

Washington does not acknowledge that the more than 450 detainees in Guantanamo are prisoners of war or entitled to the full protection of the Geneva Conventions. The United States suspects them of being Al-Qaeda members and Taliban fighters captured in Afghanistan in late 2001.

First Published: Jun 13, 2006 21:44 IST