The White House has dismissed a U.N. report that calls for the closing of the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan Thursday said investigators who prepared the document discredited the United Nations by reporting allegations made by detainees without, as he says, delving into the facts.
The U.N. report, issued earlier in the day, concludes that the U.S. government is violating prisoners' rights to a fair trial and recommends the U.S. either try or release all detainees. The report also says treatment of prisoners in some instances amounts to torture.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan endorsed the call for giving prisoners a fair trial, adding that sooner or later there will be a need for the prison to close.
The European Parliament passed a non-binding resolution Thursday echoing the call to shut it down.
Five independent investigators wrote the report for the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, based on interviews with former detainees and lawyers, media and N.G.O. (non-governmental organization) reports, and declassified U.S. government documents.
The White House spokesman says al-Qaida-linked detainees are dangerous terrorists who are trained to disseminate false information.
McClellan also noted that the International Committee of the Red Cross has had full access to the prison.
U.N. investigators say they rejected a U.S. invitation to visit Guantanamo Bay because they would not have had unrestricted access to detainees.
About 500 prisoners are being held at Guantanamo on suspicion of links to al-Qaida or the Taleban.
U.N. investigators also expressed concern that the U.S. is attempting to redefine what actions constitute torture.
Fact-finders say former detainees spoke of degrading interrogation tactics that led to severe pain -- actions that experts say amounted to torture.
The report also says the acts of force-feeding hunger strikers and subjecting inmates to prolonged solitary confinement violate prisoners' rights.