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Conditions of detention and "other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatments"

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  1. The importance of ensuring correct conditions of detention is recognized through the creation of international standards
  2. However, basic conditions are not fulfilled, even in western countries: the case of France
  3. Action and results of international mechanisms

On March 6, 2006, Alain Grignard, the deputy head of the Brussels police anti-terrorism unit declared on his return from a visit to Guantanamo-Bay with Anne-Marie Lizin, chair of the Belgian Senate: "At the level of detention facilities, it is a model prison, where people are better treated than in Belgian prisons". According to Grignard, it is undeniable that holding people for many years in detention, without letting them know what will happen to them, constitutes in itself a "mental torture"; however, as far as infrastructures and basic rights to food, clothing and medical care are concerned, the situation of detainees in Guantanamo is better than that of Belgian prisoners. In this document, we examine how such a statement, drawing a parallel between satisfying "detention facilities" and the qualification of "model prison", has to be interpreted.

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