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RF delegation to visit special jail at Guantanamo

January 17, 2014, 6:55 updated at: January 17, 2014, 7:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, January 17,  /ITAR-TASS/. A Russian inter-agency delegation, led by Konstantin Dolgov, the Foreign Ministry's commissioner for human rights, democracy and supremacy of law, will visit the US special prison at Guantanamo on Friday. The RF officials are planning to meet with a Russian inmate kept there, Ravil Mingazov.

"The main purpose, of course, is (to see) our citizen Mingazov. We want to see for ourselves in which conditions he is kept now. That his rights have been violated most flagrantly for years is obvious. He, just as other inmates at Guantanamo, of whom there are almost 200, are lacking access to fair justice," Dolgov told Itar-Tass.

Dolgov said this is "certainly, a breach of the basic norms of international law in the field of human rights". Moscow, the diplomat pointed out, will discuss with the American side "those modalities in keeping with which Mingazov could return to Russia, or his future could be decided in some other way with the understanding that his rights must be observed and that his present rightless position must be discontinued". The RF Foreign Ministry commissioner said Mingazov had coveyed a message through a defence lawyer, confirming that he is ready to meet with the delegation.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier that over ten years had passed since Moscow had begun to press for access to the Russian inmate. "We want, of course, to make sure that our citizen, who is kept there, really feels all right," Lavrov said then.

According to data available, Ravil Mingazov was put into the jail at Guantanamo in 2002 after he had been arrested by US special services in the home of a Pakistani who had connections with Al-Qaida. The American side suspected that the Russian had undergone training at terrorist camps in the territory of Afghanistan. Mingazov himself denied the accusations.

In January 2009, US President Barack Obama signed a decree about closing down the special isolation ward at Guantanamo. However, up to now, his decision has not been implemented. Moscow repeatedly called on Washington to put the American leader's decree into effect.

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