US defends conditions in Gitmo discipline block - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

US defends conditions in Gitmo discipline block


SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- Officials at Guantanamo Bay are defending conditions at a disciplinary block known as Five Echo, denying that they violate the Geneva Conventions.

Officials say Five Echo is by its nature harsher than the communal section of Guantanamo for detainees who follow prison rules. But Army Col. Donnie Thomas says the camp meets regulations.

Lawyers for detainees say the cells are too small, the toilets are inadequate and it is inhumane to keep detainees held there for 20 hours a day. They say its especially inappropriate for detainees who have not been convicted of crimes.

Guantanamo officials took the unusual step Friday of releasing photos of Five Echo to The Associated Press. Lawyers say they believe no such photos have previously been released.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

APNP-12-09-11 1457CST

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