From Thu Jun 30 07:01:11 2005
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 15:15:46 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: [NYTr] News Summary from RHC—June 29, 2005
Article: 215907
To: undisclosed-recipients: ;

US May Be Keeping Secret Prisoners on Warships: UN Official

Radio Havana Cuba, 29 June 2005

United Nations, June 29 (RHC)— The United Nations has learned of “very, very serious” allegations that Washington is secretly detaining so-called ‘terror suspects’ aboard prison ships in various locations around the world.

According to the UN's special rapporteur on terrorism, Manfred Nowak, the accusations have not be confirmed, but the information so far received warranted an official inquiry. The Austrian UN official told reporters that “there are very, very serious accusations that the United States is maintaining secret camps, notably on ships”—adding that the vessels were believed to be in the Indian Ocean region.

Last week, Nowak and three other UN human rights experts said they were opening an inquiry into the US detention camp at Guantanamo, where Washington has been holding prisoners without trial. The United States has so far ignored requests by Nowak's group to visit Guantanamo.

Legal experts say that the use of prison ships would allow investigators to interrogate people secretly and in international waters out of the reach of US law. The UN special rapporteur on terrorism said that the prison ships would not be “floating Guantanamos” since “they are much smaller, holding less than a dozen detainees.”

Other human rights activists say that the Americans may be using their island base of Diego Garcma in the Indian Ocean as a site for prisoners. Amnesty International said that some 520 prisoners are currently being held without trial at Guantanamo and others are in camps the United States has refused to acknowledge.