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Human rights groups call for access to Guantanamo

February 11, 2009 by  

Groups question civil liberties policies of GuantanamoA coalition of human rights groups has written to President Obama to request access to the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International USA, Human Rights First and Human Rights Watch want full access to the detainees to review the conditions of confinement and make recommendations for revising U.S. policies.

"The Bush administration’s past policy of secrecy regarding detention conditions at Guantanamo makes it critically important for your administration to open Guantanamo to independent review as part of a new government policy of transparency," states the letter.

It goes on to say that if the new administration allows human rights experts access full access it will "set an example that will help advance human rights worldwide."

Just days after taking office last January, Obama signed an executive order to shut down the Guantanamo Bay prison within a year and to ban harsh interrogations techniques.

This is not the first attempt by human rights advocates to shed more light on some key decisions taken by the Bush administration.

In January, ACLU has petitioned the Justice Department to release the memos that provided the legal basis for the former administration’s controversial national security policies.

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