June 20, 2016 — Today, The New York Times Editorial Board called on President Barack Obama to grant United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Ernesto Mendez access to visit and interview detainees in the Guantánamo Bay detention facility. “I want to believe that the use of torture by the United States is a dark chapter that has ended,” the Special Rapporteur said in an interview. “But I can’t be certain of that until we see a change in policy and verify that the United States is meeting all its international obligations,” he concluded.
Earlier this year, the Special Rapporteur and other independent human rights experts noted that “long term security can be regained [by the US] if a page is turned on this dark chapter of post-September 11 practices in response to terrorism,” and called on the Government to: end the prolonged arbitrary detention of all persons held at Guantánamo; establish an independent oversight mechanism to receive complaints, review all allegations of torture and ill-treatment, and provide access to effective remedies to all persons endured prolonged arbitrary arrest and/or physical and mental suffering; dismantle the military commissions at Guantánamo Bay and transfer the detainees charged with a criminal offence to United States federal facilities on the mainland; and investigate, prosecute and punish officials, public servants and military contractors who committed torture and other cruel or inhuman treatment, as well as those high level officials who ordered, tolerated or instigated such crimes.
The full article is available here.