RealNews

US criticised over interrogation methods

Human Rights Watch, the New York-based rights group, on Wednesday accused the US of giving the “green light” to abusive governments around the world by using the war against terrorism to justify serious human rights violations, including torture. Its director, Kenneth Roth, said that although the US government denied using torture, it had not repudiated press reports documenting the use of so-called “stress and duress” techniques to extract information from detainees at the US air base at Bagram in Afghanistan. Mr Roth, speaking in Geneva, said Human Rights Watch would be urging adoption of a resolution on human rights and counter-terrorism by the United Nations human rights commission, whose annual six-week session opens in the Swiss city on Monday. Human Rights Watch argues that “stress and duress” techniques – which include keeping prisoners naked, forcing them to maintain uncomfortable positions for hours on end, sleep deprivation and disorientation – are prohibited under international law on torture which outlaws not only physical injury but all forms of “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment”. The deaths in December of two prisoners held at Bagram had been classified as homicide, Mr Roth noted. Full Story

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