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UN Human Rights Council passes Russia-initiated resolution on secret prisons

March 22, 23:00 UTC+3 GENEVA

The document was co-authored by Belarus and Venezuela

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GENEVA, March 22. /TASS/. The UN Human Rights Council passed on Thursday a Russia-initiated resolution that demands from all states to close secret prisons. Only the US and Georgia voted against among the Council’s 47 states.

The document, co-authored by Belarus and Venezuela, appeals to the states to immediately shut down all secret prisons under their jurisdiction or control, located on their territories or abroad. It demands from the states to hold an independent and unbiased investigation into all known cases in which people were abducted, kept in custody without communication with the outer world, into tortures and abusive treatment.

Commenting to a TASS correspondent on the results of the voting and the stances of the US and Georgian delegations, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations office and other international organizations in Geneva Gennady Gatilov said: "I can put it plain and simple - an uneasy conscience betrays itself".

"We all know that dozens of people are kept at the Guantanamo military base without charges brought about them, without charge or trial, that the US has applied legalized tortures to those suspected of terrorism, that a network of secret prisons used to exist on the European territory (and maybe keeps existing), that with an aim to bypass the national legislation on human rights, people were taken to third countries, where intelligence officers were beating out evidence," he said.

Gatilov stressed that the Russian delegation had worked constructively, taking into account all proposals that were not at variance with the aim of the resolution, including some US proposals. He said a statement from a US representative who said amendments were not taken into consideration is groundless. "The US representative mentioned the territorial integrity of Ukraine and Georgia, brought in the Skripal case. Diverting attention is a common trick in the absence of real arguments," Gatilov summed up.

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