The US has announced that it will this week tell the United Nations that it now considers a ban against torture to apply to US prisoners held overseas — including those 148 men held without charge or trial at Guantanamo Bay. The US had previously only considered the U.N. Convention Against Torture to apply within US borders.
A US Federal Judge recently ordered the US government to release to the public video tapes of a hunger striking detainee being force-fed and manhandled, a decision the Obama administration is expected to appeal.
Commenting, Reprieve staff attorney Alka Pradhan, said:
“For the US to say it has ‘banned’ torture at Guantanamo is laughable, given the ongoing abuse at the prison. The rules at GTMO are actually written precisely to allow such abuse, and the video footage of force feedings is incredibly disturbing. Our clients, on hunger strike in peaceful protest at their indefinite detention without charge, are regularly hauled to what they call the ‘torture chair’, and force-fed in such a painful, punitive manner that even some camp personnel refuse to be involved. But don’t take my word for it — US medical experts and the World Medical Association have also condemned these abuses. The US needs to uphold its supposed ‘torture ban’ and stop punishing the detainees for their rightful protest — while the tapes I have seen should be released to the public without delay.”