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Top British Official Says US Should Close Guantanamo Prison


Britain's Attorney General Peter Goldsmith has strongly criticized the United States prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, and called for it to be shut down.

Speaking in London Wednesday, Goldsmith called the existence of the prison camp "unacceptable" and said it has become a symbol of injustice. Goldsmith's comments are the strongest critique of the Guantanamo prison by a British official.

The United States has been holding detainees at Guantanamo since 2002 on suspicion of involvement in terrorism or fighting for the Taleban in Afghanistan.

President Bush said on Sunday he would like to close the prison camp during an interview with ARD German television. But he said he is waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether the Guantanamo detainees should go before a civilian court or a military court.

The Supreme Court is expected to rule by the end of June on whether military tribunals of foreign terror suspects can proceed. The Bush administration is arguing that the president had the authority to set up such tribunals.

More than 270 detainees have been released from Guantanamo to their home countries and about 480 are still held there.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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