According to the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the U.S. government should set free at once, a Pakistani man being held at Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The group said that he should also be compensated for being held at the facility since 2006.
The group comprises of five individuals, all independent experts, and they report to the U.N. Human Rights Council. They held in a written opinion that detaining Ammar al-Baluchi is arbitrary and that the case is a breach of international human rights law, and carries no legal basis.
The experts said in a statement that Al-Baluchi has been treated in a discriminatory manner, and that he wasn’t allowed the proper facilities, to prepare his defense for the prosecution.
Al-Baluchi, otherwise known as Abdul Aziz Ali, was born in Kuwait and is a Pakistani citizen. He’s been accused of being a co-conspirator, along with his uncle Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, for masterminding the Sept.11,2001 attacks.
The experts were of the opinion that Al-Baluchi was the subject of discrimination, because of his nationality and religion. He has been denied the right to a fair trial, and other guarantees normally afforded to detainees by the U.S. judicial system. Furthermore, at least 13 items of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights had been violated by his extended detention, the group added.
The five members in the group are Elina Steinerte from Latvia, Seong-Phil Hong from South Korea, Jose Antonio Guevara Bermudez from Mexico, Setondji Roland Adjovi from Benin and Leigh Toomey from Australia.
The United states have claimed his lengthy detention to be lawful, and the view was reaffirmed by a military spokesman, U.S. Navy Commander Sarah Higgins, but did not elaborate on the matter. She told reporters that the U.S. government had the legal authority to detain Al-Baluchi, and wouldn’t comment further until they had analyzed the basis of the U.N. group’s claim.
Nils Melzer, an expert who specializes in dealing with torture cases for the U.N. Human Rights Council, claimed that, even years after interrogation techniques involving torture had been banned by the Washington, Al-Baluchi still has been the subject of such treatment. The claims were made in December by Melzer and the Pentagon denied the allegations. No evidence had been found following those claims, despite their being multiple investigations into the matter.
The United States was accused internationally for symbolizing torture practices when Guantanamo Bay prison was established. It was put into place at the U.S. military base in Guantanamo, Cuba by George W. Bush for holding overseas terrorism suspects following the Sept.,11,2001 attacks. His successor, Barack Obama, promised to close the jail when he came into power, but could only reduce the prison inmates from 242 to 41.
Meanwhile, the current United States President, Donald Trump, said during his electoral campaign that he wanted to imprison more suspected terrorists in the Guantanamo Bay prison. In trying to achieve this, he asked for funds from the Congress last year to upgrade the detention center.