PARIS, Nov 25 (AFP) -
The United States ran a detention centre in Kosovo that resembled "a smaller version of Guantanamo", the Council of Europe's human rights commissioner charged Friday in an interview with France's Le Monde newspaper.
Alvaro Gil-Robles told the daily that he had inspected the centre, located within the US military Camp Bondsteel, in 2002 to investigate reports of extrajudicial arrests by NATO-led peacekeepers.
The conditions there "shocked" him, he said.
He described the facility as "small wooden huts ringed by tall barbed wire", each housing "between 15 and 20 prisoners ... wearing orange boiler-suits like the ones worn by Guantanamo inmates."
President George W. Bush's government has been under fire from human rights organisations and lawyers for keeping suspects detained in the US "war on terror" locked up without charges and without access to lawyers for years in a military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Most recently, the United States has also been accused of maintaining a network of so-called "black sites" -- CIA detention centres in foreign countries, notably in Asia and in eastern Europe -- where suspects are subjected to vigorous interrogation techniques that some say amount to torture.
Gil-Robles said he had no evidence that Camp Bondsteel was linked to the alleged secret CIA operations.
"But I do believe that an explanation should be given for this base in Kosovo, as for other potentially suspect sites" in Europe, he told the paper.