President Bush on Tuesday rejected as “absurd” an Amnesty International report that described the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay as a gulag and which said the United States was responsible for an upsurge in human rights violations around the world.
“I’m aware of the Amnesty International report and it’s absurd, it’s an absurd allegation. The United States is a country that promotes freedom around the world,” Bush said at a Rose Garden news conference.
Amnesty International last week said human rights are in retreat worldwide and the United States bears most of the responsibility. It called the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay “the gulag of our times.”
There have been a number of accusations of American mistreatment of the detainees and of the Koran, the Muslim holy book, at Guantanamo Bay.
Bush said that when accusations are made about actions taken by Americans they are “fully investigated in a transparent way.”
“In terms of the detainees, we’ve had thousands of people detained, we’ve investigated every single complaint,” he said.
Amnesty International appeared to base some of its allegations on detainees, “people who hate America, people that have been trained in some instances to disassemble, that means not tell the truth. So it was an absurd report,” Bush said.
William Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International, countered in a statement: “What is ‘absurd’ is President Bush’s attempt to deny the deliberate policies of his administration.”
“What is ‘absurd’ and indeed outrageous is the Bush administration’s failure to undertake a full independent investigation,” Schulz added.