Amnesty International report to UN torture committee says US abuses widespread

[JURIST] Amnesty International [advocacy website] Wednesday released [press release] a report [text] it has submitted to the UN Committee Against Torture [official website] detailing widespread torture and inhumane treatment [JURIST news archives] of prisoners at US detention sites around the world and at facilities in the United States, saying that the US is "creating a climate in which torture and other ill-treatment can flourish -- including by trying to narrow the definition of torture." The report also says that measures taken by the US government in response to torture allegations at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere have been inadequate, insisting that

While the government continues to assert that abuses resulted for the most part from the actions of a few "aberrant" soldiers and lack of oversight, there is clear evidence that much of the ill-treatment has stemmed directly from officially sanctioned procedures and policies, including interrogation techniques approved by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld for use in Guantánamo and later exported to Iraq.
The Committee Against Torture is charged with periodic reviews of conduct by those countries that have signed the UN Convention against Torture [text]. The committee's review of the US is scheduled for May 5 and May 8 in Geneva. The last review of the US was in 2000. The committee has recently questioned [JURIST report] US detention practices at Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, and in Afghanistan [JURIST news archives]. In its own report [text] to the committee last October, the US justified the indefinite holding of foreign terrorism suspects abroad [JURIST report]. Reuters has more.


 

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