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DOS Cable re: Forwarding of Letters Received from United Nations Representatives

July 7, 2004 | DOS | ACLU-RDI 3721
This is a cable to the U.S. Mission in Geneva, forwarding letters received by U.N. Representatives Theo van Boven, Leandro Despouy and Paul Hunt. The letters from Messrs.’ Boven, Despouy and Hunt focus on the treatment of detainees and the judicial procedures detainees will be facing in Iraq. The correspondence, collectively, cite U.N. resolutions on the treatment of detainees and the establishment of judicial tribunals for the trial and adjudication of persons tried in times of armed conflict. They pose questions to the U.S. concerning adherence to these resolutions. Specifically they ask: Are the facts alleged in the summary of the case accurate? Which is the authority responsible for investigating the allegations? Is the identity of the person or persons, group or unit responsible for the torture known? They also state that: there is concern that the military commissions, whose sentences cannot be appealed in any other court and include the death penalty; detainees are held in solitary confinement for up to 24 hours per day in a windowless air-conditioned cells; and the International Committee of the Red Cross has stated that it has observed a worrying deterioration in the psychological health of a large number of detainees.