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U.N.: Try or release Guantanamo detainees

UNITED NATIONS, June 24 (UPI) -- A United Nations official says U.S. terror detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, must be tried or released and those who used torture should be held accountable.

U.N. human rights chief Navanethem Pillay Wednesday criticized a decision by President Barack Obama to continue holding some of the Guantanamo detainees without trial and called for an investigation into U.S. officials who participated in or authorized their torture, The Washington Post reported.

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"People who order or inflict torture cannot be exonerated, and the roles of certain lawyers, as well as doctors who have attended torture sessions, should also be scrutinized," said Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, in a statement.

The South African attorney praised the Obama administration for banning some of the harshest interrogation techniques against terror detainees, but contended the White House needs to go further to allow torture victims a chance to fully recover from their ordeals.

The Post said Pillay's statement is the most direct U.N. challenge so far to Obama's decision to hold some Guantanamo detainees deemed too dangerous to release.

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