Calling solitary confinement "torture," California prisoners and advocates are asking the United Nations to investigate the segregated housing of gang members at prisons throughout the state, reports the Los Angeles Times.

They are petitioning the U.N. to conduct an inquiry into the conditions of the state's "security housing units," which they say violate international human rights. They also want the Red Cross to be allowed in to visit the lockups.

"We have California treating several thousand prisoners in much the same way the U.S. government treats enemy combatants held in Guatanamo," said Peter Schey, an attorney representing hundreds of inmates.

Related:

Calif. Proposes Returning High-Risk Prison Gang Members to General Population

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