Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cuba demands US gives back Guantanamo Bay

Cuba demands US gives back Guantanamo Bay

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CUBA has demanded the US return Guantanamo Bay to the island nation and denounced the "war on terror" prison, where six detainees could face the death penalty.

Cuba's Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque claimed today that suspects held in the US naval base in the southeastern tip of Cuba have been subjected to torture and face unfair legal treatment.

Cuba rejects "the violation of human rights, unjust incarceration of prisoners held there without charges, and their appearance in courts without guarantees and in which they are convicted in advance,'' he told reporters.

He did not directly refer to the case of six detainees facing charges that carry the death penalty.

"We demand again the closure of the indecent Guantanamo prison, the return of the territory illegally occupied to our fatherland,'' Perez Roque said.

The United States, which has occupied Guantanamo for more than 100 years, signed in 1934 a lease agreement with the Cuban government that could not be altered without agreement by both countries.

Since 1960, a year after it came to power, Fidel Castro's communist government has refused the annual lease payment of 5000 dollars from the United States.

The US Defence Department announced Monday that military prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against six Al-Qaeda detainees on murder and conspiracy charges in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

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