Top UN rights official raises concerns about US treatment of terror detainees

6 March 2003

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio Vieira de Mello, has raised his concerns about the treatment of detainees in the war on terror as well as the situation in Iraq during meetings with United States President George W. Bush and other top administration officials.

In addition to President Bush, Mr. Vieira de Mello also met yesterday with US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice during his first visit to Washington, D.C., as the UN's human rights chief.

Along with his concerns about the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere, the High Commissioner and US officials had a broad discussion on Iraq, and concurred that everything should be done to address the plight of the Iraqi people.

Mr. Vieira de Mello also brought up his growing concerns regarding the human rights of both the Israelis and the Palestinians. He also asked whether, in line with the US national security strategy, the United States could ensure that affordable AIDS drugs would be available to all who need them.