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Last Updated: Friday, 16 April, 2004, 21:04 GMT 22:04 UK
Cuba slams US over Guantanamo
By Elizabeth Blunt
BBC News, Geneva

Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay
Hundreds of suspects are being held at Guantanamo Bay
At the UN Human Rights Commission meeting in Geneva, the Cuban delegation has tabled a resolution on arbitrary detentions in Guantanamo Bay.

While not directly naming the US, the resolution calls on UN human rights bodies to investigate conditions there.

On Thursday, an US-sponsored resolution criticising the human rights situation in Cuba was passed by the commission.

In the annual tussle between Cuba and the US at the Human Rights Commission, the Americans won the first round.

But now Cuba is fighting back, with a resolution on conditions at the American military detention centre at Guantanamo Bay.

Serious concerns

The resolution is currently scheduled for consideration by the Human Rights Commission on Wednesday or Thursday next week.

The text is cunningly worded, expressing concern about what it says is reliable information that prisoners there are being deprived of their rights to a speedy legal process and a fair trial, and to be free of torture, or cruel and degrading treatment.

It also includes a reminder that a number of states with citizens in Guantanamo Bay have expressed their most serious concerns about the situation, effectively challenging countries like France and Britain to stand by their positions and support the Cuban resolution.

If it passes, the resolution would mandate the UN's special rapporteurs on torture and judicial independence and its working group on arbitrary detention to consider the situation in Guantanamo Bay.

It would request the responsible government - that is, the United States - to provide all necessary information on the living conditions of the prisoners and their legal status.

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