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UN probes US rights record

A man speaks on his mobile phone on May 31, 2011 in New York CityA UN watchdog body on Thursday began a review of the United States’ human rights record, quizzing officials on National Security Agency surveillance, the “war on terror” and racism in the justice system. The 18-member UN Human Rights Committee fired question after question during a session on Washington’s respect for the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Swiss legal expert Walter Kaelin, at the helm of the probe, welcomed a report by Washington on the issue. But he and fellow experts urged Washington to shed light on probes of the alleged use of torture techniques such as “waterboarding” during the “war on terror”, the status of detainees held in Guantanamo Bay and Afghanistan, and civilian deaths.

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