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Russia says its Guantanamo inmate remains in legal limbo

January 16, 2015, 16:41 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Last January the US side assured to determine the fate of a Russian national held in the detention center for 12 year but stil has not done that, the Russian ForMin human rights commissioner says

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MOSCOW, January 16. /TASS/. A Russian national detained in the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay for more than 12 years is still deprived of legal rights, a senior foreign ministry official said on Friday.

Commenting on the plight of 46-year-old Ravil Mingazov — detained in Pakistan in 2002 and held in solitary confinement at the US prison camp on Cuba's south-east coast since October of that year — Russian Foreign Ministry human rights commissioner Konstantin Dolgov said: “It was exactly one year ago, in January 2014, that a Russian interagency delegation visited the detention center and met Ravil Mingazov, held there for more than 12 years in legal limbo without charge or trial,” the diplomat recalled.

“Despite assurances from the American side that Mingazov’s fate would be determined ‘over the next few weeks’, this has not happened,” Dolgov said. “He has still no rights as an ‘unprivileged enemy combatant’ under the jurisdiction of the Pentagon,” he said, noting the ministry’s “serious concern” over the controversial center.

“Washington says nothing about prospects for closing it, although after taking office in 2009, Barack Obama promised to do it within a year and to move other prisoners to US territory,” the diplomat said. “Years-long detention of dozens of prisoners at Guantanamo without trial is a gross violation of human rights and democracy.”

“This became particularly obvious after details of CIA torture techniques used in its secret prisons abroad were made partially public in late December 2014,” Dolgov said, adding that inaction of authorities in closing Guantanamo “confirmed double-standards the US used in the sphere of human rights” and “negatively influenced the country’s image in the world”.

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