Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Torture "widespread" under US custody: Amnesty

Torture and inhumane treatment are "widespread" in U.S.-run detention centers in Afghanistan,Iraq, Cuba and elsewhere despite Washington's denials, Amnesty International said on Wednesday.

In a report for the United Nations' Committee against Torture, the London-based human rights group also alleged abuses within the U.S. domestic law enforcement system, including use of excessive force by police and degrading conditions of isolation for inmates in high security prisons.

"Evidence continues to emerge of widespread torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment of detainees held in U.S. custody," Amnesty said in its 47-page report.

It said that while Washington has sought to blame abuses that have recently come to light on "aberrant soldiers and lack of oversight," much ill-treatment stemmed from officially sanctioned interrogation procedures and techniques.

"The U.S. government is not only failing to take steps to eradicate torture, it is actually creating a climate in which torture and other ill-treatment can flourish," said Amnesty International USA Senior Deputy Director-General Curt Goering.

The U.N. committee, whose experts carry out periodic reviews of countries signatory to the U.N. Convention against Torture, is scheduled to begin consideration of the United States on Friday. The last U.S. review was in 2000.

It said in November it was seeking U.S. answers to questions including whether Washington operated secret detention centers abroad and whether President George W. Bush had the power to absolve anyone from criminal responsibility in torture cases.

The committee also wanted to know whether a December 2004 memorandum from the U.S. Attorney General's office, reserving torture for "extreme" acts of cruelty, was compatible with the global convention barring all forms of cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment.

In its own submission to the committee, published late last year, Washington justified the holding of thousands of foreign terrorism suspects in detention centers abroad, including Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, on the grounds that it was fighting a war that was still not over.

"Like other wars, when they start, we do not know when they will end. Still, we may detain combatants until the end of the war," it said.

The U.S. human rights image has taken a battering abroad over a string of scandals involving the sexual and physical abuse of detainees held by American forces in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay.

In its submission, Washington did not mention alleged secret detention centers.

Amnesty listed a series of incidents in recent years involving torture of detainees in U.S. custody, noting the heaviest sentence given to perpetrators was five months in jail. This was the same punishment you could get for stealing a bicycle in the United States, it added.

"Although the U.S. government continues to assert its condemnation of torture and ill-treatment, these statements contradict what is happening in practice," said Goering, referring to the testimony of torture victims in the report.

Source : Here.


Blogger Hype said...

You can thank Dick Cheney and Rumsfeld for the torture. ...disgusting.


May 03, 2006 8:42 pm  
Blogger Tigre said...

i'm glad that you concentrate on that, i do admit the issue is important, but you don't cover mass torture and executions by insurgents of Iraqi's, or by Kim Jung ill, or Sudan... i'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that you voted Kerry last election... not that it's a bad thing..but a lot of the people who concentrate on only the bad things generally voted Kerry.

May 03, 2006 8:59 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...


Yup your really going out on a limb. I am English :-) so I am delighted to inform you that I can not vote in US elections.

I live in the UK and couldn't care less about democrats and republicans. (those parties do not exist here)

I do post often on issues such as Sudan and china , as well as some of the sickening behaviour of the insurgents in Iraq. but you seem to miss something ....

The US used to stand for liberty and freedom and democracy. Now it stands for torture and occupation and complete disregard of international law.

I have had many come here and say , "what about Dafur , what about China ...."

..well we expect that behaviour from china or sudan , we expect torture from the likes of Saddam. Suicide bombers and religious extremists behave exactly how you would expect them to behave. Such Sickness is part of life on earth , bad people behave in bad ways.

However we expect the United States of America to be the Bastian's of democracy and freedom. 'liberty and justice for all' not for them to be constantly compared to the bad guys.

Doesn't the very fact that your mentioning the United States and Sudan in the same comment worry you ?

Is that what America has become , a country that overthrows a dictator who tortures and then commits the very same crimes themselves. ?

I am sorry that your country and your expectations have slipped to such a low standard. I for one do not want to look at the sick terrorist attacks around the world and the equally sick massacre of innocents at places like fallujah and try to decide who in fact really is the bad guy.

Expect more from your country. You do not defeat evil by behaving as evil does . Uphold the standards that your country was founded upon. The world already has one China we don't need another one.

The words of Benjamin Franklin when he said Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Surely do not only apply to American citizens but all human beings.

The United States has always had its faults (like all countries) but reaching the point of trying to hide behind the evils of china or Dafur is really scrapping the barrel.

May 03, 2006 9:35 pm  
Blogger Hype said...

'Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.'

these words will haunt my children. history will not be kind to the neo-cons and their wars. Iraq is the new Vietnam. Impeach.


May 03, 2006 9:42 pm  
Blogger DJEB said...

"you don't cover mass torture and executions by insurgents of Iraqi's, or by Kim Jung ill, or Sudan..."

Glad to see you judged the site in 30 seconds.

Ahem. Archives. Read 'em.

Aaaaannnnddd, for the one thousandth time (check the archives here, too), if you are soooooooo concerned about human rights, get your government to stop funding Islam Karimov. (Now I know you don't know who that is, so I'll tell you. He is the leader of Uzbekistan and is notorious for boiling political prisoners to death.)

May 04, 2006 2:50 pm  
Blogger ParisGuy said...

Nah, personally I'll tell one shouldn't just see the picture, try also to see who is getting tortured. If he is an innocent university lecturer of Iraq, this kind of behaviour should be condemned. Very bad. Shame on you Mr. Bush for not been able to check this.
But, if this is a picture of one of Saddam's chief army officer who personally looked after those genocides, or the ISI / Taliban incharge of Iraq, or something similar, I don't see there's anything wrong in what's happening. And I think the US soldiers didn't go to Iraq to arrest and torture innocents of that country.
And if you consider him as a terrorist, or something similar, how else can you treat the terrorists? Do you want to invite him in your house for a supper? There are some people who only understands one language, torture. What do you think they would have done to US soldiers had they been taken as prisoners?
Let's be realistic. Personally I feel that the world has become so much polluted by these terrorists, who are killing hundreds of innocents daily around the globe, that nothing is unfair against them.

May 04, 2006 11:34 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you tell us 'parisguy' Of any examples (apart from the TV show 24) in the real world where torture works ?o any lives that have been saved ?

Torture does not work it is that simple.

Try it :-) torture your family ! , what you end up with is someone who will tell you anything you want to hear to make the pain stop.

they will tell you that the newyork subway will be attacked with prams . They will tell you that the broklyn bridge is going to be cut down (erm slowly of a number of months)

sadly what they wont tell you is anything you can act apon. for there are far more effective methods of interigation than torture.

Torture does not work , US generals seem to agree . that is not to say it performs no purpose otherwise evil and sick dictators such as saddam or the old soviet block and china wouldnt do it would they.

But it would be unwise to believe they are poking them with burning hot metal rods in order to protect your safety in fact all you can gain from such places as gitmo is a new generation of terrorists who will come back to haunt you for decades to come.

Israel has been torturing Palastinain militins for decades and have gained nothing from it but more bus bombs and more widows

It looks great on TV but please dont think it is protecting you. why do you think those Kidnapped in Iraq get forced into those stupid orange jump suits.

stupid acts as stupid sees , If its ok for the US then its ok for everyone.

The same applies to the concept of premtive strike . other countries France / North Korea etc have now introduced such policies into their beliefs

the US sets the standards that all follow and now we all know that it is ok to diregard the geneva convention and the rights of soveriegn nations , the united nations charter and more , because America has shown us that its all ok to do

May 05, 2006 2:36 am  
Blogger Hype said...

'Personally I feel that the world has become so much polluted by these terrorists, who are killing hundreds of innocents daily around the globe, that nothing is unfair against them.'

I could say...

Personally I feel that the world has become so much polluted by America's unfair policies (lust for cheap oil), who are killing hundreds of innocents daily around the globe, that nothing is unfair against them.

This is about business in the short term, world domination in the long term for neo-cons. We all know what happens to the world domination types. buhhbye!


May 08, 2006 10:16 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...

True hype

The best way to show the fallacy in someone view its to reflect the Image back with a mirror .. so often they will complain about what they see when in the end what they see is their own reflection

May 09, 2006 4:19 am  

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