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  • Activists protest outside the White House demanding that the government close Guantanamo Bay prison.

    Activists protest outside the White House demanding that the government close Guantanamo Bay prison. | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 May 2015

The 117 states participating in the discussion requested that Washington take measures to prevent torture outside its national borders.

The United States was criticized for its human rights standards on Tuesday after the country's compliance with international human rights standards were assessed by the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The U.N. criticized the U.S. for police violence, racial discrimination, torture, use of the death penalty, and Guantanamo Bay prison, among other issues.

Washington attended the country’s second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva, a procedure in which the U.N. body analyzes human rights in U.N. member states.

The Human Rights Council received a delegation of U.S. human rights organizations and experts which denounced a series of violations that occur in the country.

One of the key demands made by the 117 states taking part in the collective review was for Washington to take measures to prevent acts of torture in areas outside their national territory and to prosecute perpetrators, as well as provide assistance to the victims of torture.

RELATED: Terror Conviction Overturned for Former Guantanamo Prisoner

“Today was a demonstration of the no confidence vote that world opinion has made of the United States as a country that considers itself a human rights champion,” said Jamil Dakwar, director of the Human Rights Program of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The member states also criticized the failure of the Obama administration to close down Guantanamo Bay prison, notorious for the torture practices carried out there on inmates lacking basic legal protections.

According to sources from the U.S. delegation, the U.N. is negotiating with the White House a visit from Juan Menendez, U.N. special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, to Guantanamo.

Earlier in March, Mendez complained that Washington did not intend to give him access during his visit to the more than 100 inmates still in Guantanamo. 

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