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Russian delegation to visit Guantanamo to meet jailed Russian citizen

December 27, 2013, 15:33 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia intends to discuss with the US conditions for Mingazov’s return to Russia

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MOSCOW, December 27. /ITAR-TASS/. A Russian delegation will visit the detention camp at the US Guantanamo naval base, Cuba, on January 17 to meet with Russian citizen Ravil Mingazov imprisoned there, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s envoy for human rights, democracy and the rule of law, Konstantin Dolgov, told Itar-Tass Friday.

“Naturally, our chief purpose is to see Mingazov. We want to get firsthand knowledge of his real conditions. It is obvious his rights have been flagrantly violated for years,” the head of the delegation said. “Like other Guantanamo prisoners, and there are almost 200 of them, he has no access to fair justice, which is certainly a violation of the fundamental human rights according to international law.”

The envoy added Russia would surely discuss with the US side the conditions for Mingazov’s return to Russia or some other solution, the ultimate goal being his rights should be observed and his current “lawless state” should cease. Mingazov long ago confirmed via his lawyer his consent to see a Russian proxy, but the US side for a long time provided no guarantees the Russian delegation could meet with him, the envoy added.

Dolgov mentioned the delegation’s plans to take a wider look at the issue and “to bring up the question of the need for the prompt closing of the Guantanamo detention camp.”

 “Lately US President Barack Obama has again admitted the prison was a blemish on US reputation and a threat to US national interests. One cannot but agree with this,” the diplomat said. “We believe the US federal authorities should act on their words.”

Dolgov said Russia was now waiting for “the final confirmation from the US side the Russian delegation can pay a visit (to the prison) on January 17.” He hopes the U.S. will provide the necessary conditions for the meeting and a precise program for the visit.

Russian citizen Mingazov was detained by US secret services in Pakistan in 2002, but still faces no official charges. The Russian authorities have repeatedly tried to obtain consular access to the Russian citizen. Last time the U.S. denied access to the prisoner on the excuse Mingazov had refused to meet Russian officials.

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