Torture Awareness Month
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Excerpts from UN Committee Against Torture report on The United States.
19 May, 2006

" The Committee reiterates its previous recommendation that the State party should enact a federal crime of torture consistent with article 1 of the Convention, which should include appropriate penalties, in order to fulfill its obligations under the Convention to prevent and eliminate acts of torture causing severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, in all its forms.
The State party should ensure that acts of psychological torture, prohibited by the Convention, are not limited to "prolonged mental harm" as set out in the State party’s understandings lodged at the time of ratification of the Convention, but constitute a wider category of acts, which cause severe mental suffering, irrespective of their prolongation or its duration.
The State party should investigate, prosecute and punish perpetrators under the federal extraterritorial criminal torture statute."

"The State party should recognize and ensure that the Convention applies at all times,whether in peace, war or armed conflict, in any territory under its jurisdiction and that the application of the Convention’s provisions are without prejudice to the provisions of any other international instrument, pursuant to paragraph 2 of its articles 1 and 16."

"The State party should recognize and ensure that the provisions of the Convention expressed as applicable to "territory under the State party’s jurisdiction" apply to, and are fully enjoyed, by all persons under the effective control of its authorities, of whichever type, wherever located in the world."

"The State party should register all persons it detains in any territory under its jurisdiction, as one measure to prevent acts of torture. Registration should contain the identity of the detainee, the date, time and place of the detention, the identity of the authority that detained the person, the ground for the detention, the date and time of admission to the detention facility and the state of health of the detainee upon admission and any changes thereto, the time and place of interrogations, with the names of all interrogators present, as well as the date and time of release or transfer to another detention facility."

"The State party should ensure that no one is detained in any secret detention facility under its de facto effective control. Detaining persons in such conditions constitutes, per se, a violation of the Convention. The State party should investigate and disclose the existence of any such facilities and the authority under which they have been established and the manner in which detainees are treated. The State party should publicly condemn any policy of secret detention.
The Committee recalls that intelligence activities, notwithstanding their author, nature or location, are acts of the State party, fully engaging its international responsibility."

"The State party should adopt all necessary measures to prohibit and prevent enforced disappearance in any territory under its jurisdiction, and prosecute and punish perpetrators, as this practice constitutes, per se, a violation of the Convention."

Those Quotes are just a fraction of the recommendations. The U.S. has obligations under international law pursuant to the Geneva Conventions, The UN Charter, and UN resolutions. Protection of human rights is also written into the U.S. constitution. Pursuing a policy that takes away a person's basic inherent human rights is a dangerous direction to be going.


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Sources and links:
, Full Text, PDF format.

Amnesty International


misneach said...

"The grave problem of today’s humanity is that some big powers have distanced themselves from justice." -Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Iran Daily .


"In the wording of the Nuremberg Tribunal, aggression is "the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole" — all the evil in the tortured land of Iraq that flowed from the US-UK invasion, for example.
Chief prosecutor for the United States at Nuremberg US Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson’s eloquent words: "If certain acts of violation of treaties are crimes, they are crimes whether the United States does them or whether Germany does them, and we are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct against others which we would not be willing to have invoked against us." And elsewhere: "We must never forget that the record on which we judge these defendants is the record on which history will judge us tomorrow. To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well."
Taken from Noam Chomsky article published in the Khaleej Times

misneach said...

Related Materials:

REPORT ON GUANTANAMO DETAINEES Seton Hall University School of Law

Detainee Abuse and Accountability Project from Human Rights Watch.

misneach said...

U.S. War Crimes Act of 1996