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UK asked to intervene over claims Qatari govt ministers sanctioned torture in UAE (VIDEO)

Britain has been asked to investigate allegations of torture against Qatari nationals in the United...

The Strange (and Tortured) Legacy of “Free Speech”

Photo by Charlie Nguyen | CC BY 2.0 It has recently come to my attention that new Chancellor Carol Christ at the University of California,...
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Video: Raping & Killing: Iraqi authorities admit army’s torture of suspects in Mosul (DISTURBING...

In other events in Iraq, the prime minister has acknowledged that security forces abused prisoners during the operation to oust the ISIS insurgents from...

ACLU settles torture case with CIA-contracted psychologists

The ACLU has declared a “historic victory” following the settlement of its lawsuit against two CIA-contracted...
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Video: US Interrogates Prisoners at UAE Torture Sites in Yemen

U.S. officials interrogated prisoners at United Arab Emirates-linked secret prisons in Yemen where extreme torture is routine, says Human Rights Watch's ... Via Youtube

CIA torture case may go to trial if 2 psychologists don’t sway judge

Three former CIA detainees who underwent enhanced torture methods claim that two psychologists should be held...

The Torture-Friendly Trump Administration

It should come as no surprise to anyone that Donald Trump is pro-torture. He said on the campaign trail he’d approve waterboarding “in a...

The Torture-Friendly Trump Administration

It should come as no surprise to anyone that Donald Trump is pro-torture. He said on the campaign trail he’d approve waterboarding “in a...

Turin Shroud is Stained with the Blood of a Torture Victim

New research claims the Shroud of Turin is stained with the blood of a torture victim, supporting the theory that it was...

Torture in the Service of the Nation

Photo by Tomas | CC BY 2.0 Reading the New York Times Magazine article about Marine Corps’ basic training of recruits at Parris Island, South Carolina, I was...
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Video: Senate Begins Confirmation Hearings for Trump FBI Pick Tied to Torture, Gitmo

https://democracynow.org - On Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced that he would nominate Christopher Wray, the former assistant attorney ... Via Youtube
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Video: U.S. Tied to Torture in Network of Secret Yemen Prisons Run by UAE

https://democracynow.org - Human Rights Watch and the Associated Press have just published explosive new reports on a secret network of prisons in southern ... Via...

Investigation Reveals Torture in UAE-run Prisons

by Press TV / June 22nd, 2017 A new investigation reveals the presence of clandestine prisons in the south of Yemen, run by the United...

Egypt: Seven Men Tortured in State Custody Face Execution; 90 News Websites Blocked

In Egypt, seven men are facing imminent execution based on confessions that human rights activists say were extracted under torture. Six of the men...
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Video: Crackdown in Egypt: Seven Men Tortured in State Custody Face Execution; 90 News...

https://democracynow.org - In Egypt, seven men are facing imminent execution based on confessions that human rights activists say were extracted under torture ... Via Youtube
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Video: ‘Enhanced interrogation’: Guantanamo detainee sues CIA contractors over torture

The lawyers of an inmate at America's infamous Guantanamo Bay prison are suing the creators of the CIA's 'enhanced interrogation' programme - as part...
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Video: ‘Torture for fun’: Iraqi forces filmed executing hospital employee suspected of ISIS links...

WARNING: DISTURBING IMAGES Details of the gruesome murder of a hospital employee by members of an elite Iraqi counter-terrorist unit have been shared ... Via...

US State Department ‘not aware’ of torture & extrajudicial executions by Iraqi forces

The US State Department has denied having any knowledge of the disturbing reports of extrajudicial killings...
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Video: Eyes wide shut: Mosul torture exposed (PROMO)

The Iraqi army, leading a vigorous battle to liberate Mosul from ISIS, has been exposed torturing and abusing their captives suspected of having terrorists...
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Video: Could Trump’s White House Bury or Even Destroy the Landmark 2014 Senate Report...

https://democracynow.org - Is the Trump administration attempting to erase history? On Friday, congressional officials confirmed the administration has begun ... Via Youtube
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Video: Lawyer for Tortured Detainees: U.S. Created ISIS Through Misguided Detention, Interrogation Policies

https://democracynow.org - We speak with Shayana Kadidal, senior managing attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, about an often overlooked ... Via Youtube

Democrats accuse Trump of ‘erasing history’ as GOP recalls copies of torture report

The Trump administration intends to “erase history” by burying the 2014 Senate torture report, leading Democrats...

Hiding the Ugly Business of Torture

Exclusive: A grisly feature of the “war on terror” was America’s descent into torture, but the powers-that-be have decided that...

It Appears Trump Admin. Wants to Bury Senate Torture Report Forever

The Trump administration is moving to keep the lengthy Senate report on the CIA's torture and detention program forever from the public eye, the...
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Video: John Kiriakou on Blowing the Whistle on CIA Torture & Why Trump’s Presidency...

http://democracynow.org - The report on President Trump urging FBI Director James Comey to end the agency's investigation into Trump's former national ... Via Youtube

From torture to freedom: Manning’s supporters reflect on her 7-year nightmare

Whistleblower Chelsea Manning has been released, after enduring seven years of imprisonment and torture. John Pilger,...
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Video: Legal Torture? US death row inmate to face lethal injection despite asking for...

A Georgia death row inmate has been denied stay of execution and clemency requests, after he argued that a firing squad would be more...

‘Vulnerable’ man forced to eat own testicle in ‘Dark Ages’ torture, court told

A father-of-two was forced to eat his own testicle before his teeth were knocked out...

Torturer-Warmonger H.R. McMaster

National Security Advisor Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster’s past affiliation with the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) has created fresh concerns after research conducted...
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Video: Thugs who tortured pensioners with boiling water arrested on arrival at Heathrow

Courtesy: Kent police The moment police boarded a plane to arrest two “barbaric” burglars who poured boiling water over an elderly couple after breaking...

Obama’s Bulwark against Torture: Will It Stop Trump?

Just after President Trump’s Inauguration, a draft of an executive order was leaked which indicated his intent to seek a formal review on whether...

‘No man is above the law’: SCOTUS nominee Gorsuch talks torture, guns, wiretaps and...

Republicans showed unanimous support for Judge Neil Gorsuch during the second day of confirmation hearings for...

DOJ Docs Raise Questions About Gorsuch's Views on Torture and Executive Power

With just days until Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch's confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, a new trove of documents is raising additional...

Torture not good enough reason to allow asylum seekers to stay, says minister

Being a victim of torture is not a good enough reason for asylum seekers to...

Trump encouraging other leaders to allow torture: UN expert

A UN human rights expert warns that Trump’s approval of torture might encourage other governments to follow suit. Read more
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Video: ‘Owners used us however they wanted’: Indian maids tortured in Saudi Arabia talk...

More allegations of the sexual abuse and torture of maids employed in Saudi Arabia have come to light. Two Indian women have now shared...

Did Obama Pave the Way for More Torture?

If we do not act we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess...

Solitary confinement of teens in British prisons ‘against UN torture rules’

Prisons in the UK are keeping teenage offenders in solitary confinement despite the government denying...

Libyan rendition & torture victim vows to ‘fight UK govt until the end’

Libyan torture victim Abdel Hakim Belhaj has vowed to fight his case against the UK government “until the end.” In 2004, Abdul Hakim Belhaj was...

Navy vet attacked for trying to stop turtle torture

A US Navy veteran suffered a skull fracture while trying to stop three men from torturing...
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Video: Syrian Refugee Crisis Linked to Rampant Torture, Disappearances & Arrests of Civilian Population

http://democracynow.org - Amnesty International's report on prison hangings at Saydnaya prison was published less than two weeks after President Trump ... Via Youtube

Return of the Torturers: Back to the Crime Scenes of the Past

The Trump administration has signaled that it is willing to return to the heinous crimes of the past two decades, including torture and abuse,...

May condemns torture… as ex-army Tory MP says ‘sometimes it might be justified’

Prime Minister Theresa May has condemned torture in response to President Donald Trump’s suggestion he...
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Video: In First TV Interview, President Trump Says Torture “Absolutely” Works

http://democracynow.org - During his first televised interview as president, Donald Trump openly embraced torture and waterboarding. "I have spoken, as ... Via Youtube
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Video: Trump’s Executive Actions Reverse Obama Policies on Torture, Healthcare & Guantánamo Bay

http://democracynow.org - Today President Trump is flying to Philadelphia, where congressional Republicans are on retreat. He's going in an effort to win more ... Via...

Trump applauds torture in CIA interrogations

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Lying Once Again, Trump Declares Torture 'Absolutely' Works

Andrea Germanos, staff writer"I want to do everything within the bounds of what you're allowed to do legally. But do I feel it works?...

Draft executive order on CIA ‘black sites’ renews questions about Trump’s torture policy

President Donald Trump’s openness to waterboarding and torture of terrorist suspects could lead to the review and ultimate reopening of CIA interrogation programs used...
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Video: ‘Not like Gitmo’: Israeli interrogators explain torture methods to media

Israeli interrogators with experience in using 'special means' of interrogation, which involve inflicting physical pain on detainees, have described details of their ... Via Youtube

The Ugly Specter of Torture and Lies

Exclusive: President Obama refused to hold “war on terror” torturers to account but punished truth-tellers severely, a bleak legacy not...

Sleep deprivation, scaring with dogs, force feeding: Torture allegations as Gitmo turns 15

Exactly 15 years ago, the first inmates were transferred to the infamous Guantanamo prison, with the...

Guantanamo Bay turns 15: A look back at the notorious ‘torture camp’

Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp opened its cells to terrorist suspects 15 years ago, on January 11,...

10-Years Ago Today: Black Criminals Kill, Torture Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom

It has been 10 years this week since the heinous kidnappings, rape and murders of a young Knoxville couple. The crime forever...

Donald Trump's Pick for Spy Chief Took Hard Line on Snowden, Guantanamo, and Torture

Colleagues of former Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., describe the septuagenarian as competent and congenial — the “Mister Rogers” of Republicans, as Sen. Cory Gardner,...

Gofundme campaign raises over $100,000 for victim of livestreamed Chicago torture

A Gofundme campaign to raise money for the developmentally challenged victim of the brutal attack broadcast...

Torture academy? Human rights abusers pay Britain’s Sandhurst millions to train their troops

Armies guilty of terrible human rights abuses are sending their officers to learn soldiering at...

CNN’s Don Lemon on Chicago Torture Video: ‘I Don’t Think It Was Evil’

CNN host Don Lemon said Wednesday evening the broadcasted torture of a bound and gagged victim in Chicago was not “evil,” adding...

Chicago torture video suspects charged with hate crimes after police say beating not about...

Four black suspects are being charged with kidnapping, assault and hate crimes for holding a white...

Hate Crime Charges Filed in Torture, Kidnapping of White Man in Chicago

Hate crime and kidnapping charges have been filed against four African-Americans who abducted and tortured an 18-year-old white man with special needs...
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Video: Mass graves of tortured civilians found in Aleppo

Mass graves with dozens of bodies of civilians subjected to brutal torture have been discovered in Aleppo neighborhoods left by militants, the Russian Defense...

CIA torture architect defends methods by comparing the term to racism

James Mitchell, one of two psychologists behind the CIA’s enhanced interrogation program used under President George...

Bringing Back Waterboarding? Torture Policy in Trump's USA

During the primary season, Republican Party candidate Donald Trump, who is now president-elect of the United States, pledged to bring back  waterboarding "and much...

Torture evidence ignored by Home Office to reject asylum claims, charity claims

Britain’s Home Office is “disregarding and mistreating” medical evidence of torture in order to reject...
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Video: US forces in Afghanistan may have committed ‘war crimes of torture, cruel...

The US may have committed war crimes of torture, cruel treatment and rape, when it interrogated dozens of people in Afghanistan between 2003 and...

Installing a Torture Fan at CIA

Exclusive: The CIA’s torturers can breathe a sigh of relief after President-elect Trump tapped a defender of “enhanced interrogation techniques” to become CIA director,...

Ignoring Torture Among the Poor

Torture has been one of the dominant international human rights issues of the last fifteen years. Yet, the vast majority of incidents of torture...

‘War crimes of torture’: ICC Prosecutor Signals Charges Against US Armed Forces, CIA

The US may have committed war crimes of torture, cruel treatment and rape, when it interrogate dozens of people in Afghanistan between 2003 and...

Trump predicted to tap mastermind of Bush torture program as CIA chief

Jose Rodriguez, one of the masterminds behind the infamous George W. Bush torture and retention program,...

British banker ‘filmed torture & murder of victim on iPhone,’ Hong Kong court hears

A British banker filmed himself torturing and killing one of his sex worker victims on...

Not even US president can legalize torture, Abu Ghraib inmates allowed to sue –...

A federal court has ruled in favor of four former Abu Ghraib detainees intending to sue...

Nauru, Refugees and the Torture Complex

Two items of interest have tickled the airwaves and triggered some commentary over the last few days. The first was an ABC Four Corners...

Abducted, Tortured, Held 14 Years Without Trial, ‘Gitmo Diary’ Author Finally Free

Mohamedou Ould Slahi, who documented his torture and imprisonment in the 2015 Guantánamo Diary, on Monday was finally returned home to his native Mauritania. Upon...

Surviving Torture in a CIA Secret Prison: Khaled al-Sharif of Libya Recounts Horrors

A shocking new report details how harsh American interrogation methods have led to devastating psychiatric disorders in former prisoners. The New York...
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Video: Journalist James Risen: CIA Torture Methods Caused Long-Term Psychological Harm to Former Prisoners

http://democracynow.org - A New York Times investigation has found at least half of the 39 detainees who went through the CIA's so-called enhanced ... Via...

Gitmo detainee granted rectal surgery after CIA ‘torture by sodomy’

Charged in connection with the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Guantanamo detainee Mustafa al-Hawsawi will reportedly miss a pretrial hearing Friday in order to “rest up”...

MI5 lawyer to be grilled by MPs over UK’s role in Guantanamo ‘torture’

MI5’s top lawyer is to answer questions in Parliament over whether the intelligence agency knew...

US Media Ignores CIA Cover-Up on Torture

MEMORANDUM FOR: Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Vice Chairman, Senate Select Committee on IntelligenceFROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for SanitySUBJECT: U.S. Media Mum On How Your Committee...

US Media Ignores CIA Cover-up on Torture

A group of U.S. intelligence veterans chastises the mainstream U.S. media for virtually ignoring a British newspaper’s account of the gripping inside story on how...

MI6 dismisses claims Lee Rigby killer Michael Adebolajo was radicalized by Kenyan torturers

Claims by one of soldier Lee Rigby’s killers that he was tortured and mistreated by...

CIA & White House tried to suppress Senate torture probe – report

A Senate report into the CIA’s use of torture and its cover-up was heavily redacted and...

‘MI6 boss who rendered me claims to be a Christian’ – Gaddafi torture victim

Former MI6 chief Mark Allen is mistaken if he thinks that a recent article he...

Abu Zubaydah: Torture’s ‘Poster Child’

Exclusive: The ugly legacy of George W. Bush’s torture program continues to haunt U.S. foreign policy as the “poster child”...

CIA torture prisoner makes case for Gitmo release in first public appearance in 14...

A Guantanamo detainee, who the CIA tortured as a suspected top leader of Al-Qaeda but never officially charged, has made his case for release....
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Video: Australia’s shame: ‘Torture’ of kids at juvenile detention center

Shocking footage of abuse in an Australian juvenile detention center has been aired on Australian national television. The video dates back to 2014, when...

British govt urged to come clean on ‘links to torture’ after Iraq invasion

“Faulty evidence” extracted by torture and used to justify the US and UK invasion of...

MH-17 Probe’s Torture-Implicated Ally

Exclusive: The Ukrainian intelligence service at the center of the inquiry into who shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is...

NGOs push for judicial inquiry into UK’s links to post-9/11 rendition & torture

A potent alliance of leading human rights NGOs has called for a full judicial inquiry into Britain’s role in rendition a week ahead of...

100% of Palestinian prisoners have been tortured in Israeli jails

As many as 71 Palestinian prisoners have died in Israeli jails as a result of torture since 1967, Abdel Nasser Farwana, head of the...

Pennsylvania man claims police used dog to torture him

A Pennsylvania man filed a lawsuit claiming Pittsburgh cops ordered a police dog to repeatedly bite...

CIA psychologists admit creating post-9/11 ‘torture’ practice for $81mn

Two former CIA psychologists have partially admitted to having advised torture and inhumane treatment for detainees,...
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Video: Latest CIA Torture Docs Show “Evidence of War Crimes” & Level of Brutality...

http://democracynow.org - Shocking new details have been made public about the CIA's torture program as the agency has declassified dozens of once-secret ... Via Youtube

CIA forced to release post-9/11 torture evidence, unclear if arrests will follow

Disturbing details of "illegal" torture techniques used by the US government after the 9/11 attacks were...

160 Killed in Iraq; Torture Arrests Made

160 Killed in Iraq; Torture Arrests Made The Iraqi Ministry of Immigration and Displacement released new figures on the number of internally...

MH-17 Probe Trusts Torture-Implicated Ukraine

Exclusive: The floundering inquiry into who shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in 2014 has relied heavily on a Ukrainian intelligence...

British police ‘teaching Saudi torturers’ – leaked documents

British police are teaching Saudi officers hi-tech crime detection techniques that could lead to the...

MI6 won’t be charged over kidnap, torture of Libyans

Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced Thursday that no charges will be brought against British...

Justice for Torturers?

Originally posted at TomDispatch. If you happen to be a potential American war criminal, you’ve had a few banner weeks. On May...

MI5, MI6 suffered ‘serious rift’ over Libya rendition flights & torture

Britain’s involvement in secret rendition operations during the ‘War on Terror’ caused a serious breakdown...

Bollywood-boarding: UK special forces in Libya ‘torture’ ISIS with Indian pop tunes

UK special forces operating in Libya are blasting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) positions with...

‘Mental torture’: Gitmo inmate testifies against guards at US prison camp

A Somali detainee at Guantánamo Bay has accused guards at the high-security Camp 7 of using...

CIA-tortured Zubaydah called to testify against Gitmo harsh techniques

Captured and tortured by the CIA after 9/11, then locked up in Guantanamo Bay without charges,...

Torture victims of Kenyan Mau Mau uprising take colonial abuse to High Court

The alleged victims of torture, rape and forced labor at the hands of British colonial...

Rebecca Gordon: Terror, Torture and US Wars of Vengeance Diminish Our Humanity

  In this interview, Rebecca Gordon, author of American Nuremberg: The US Officials Who Should Stand Trial for Post-9/11 Crimes, says if US officials are...

Snowden laughs off CIA’s ‘mistaken’ destruction of secret torture report

Following a recent report that the CIA's internal inspectors destroyed their only copy of a top...

Historical Amnesia and the Destruction of the Senate Torture Report

When Winston Smith thinks he has finally made contact with the underground movement he has always hoped existed, in George Orwell’s 1984,...

‘Everything…was a lie’: Former CIA analyst, John Kiriakou on the agency deleting torture report

The CIA’s Inspector General Office reportedly “inadvertently” deleted its only copy of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s...

CIA Watchdog "Mistakenly" Destroys Its Sole Copy of Senate Torture Report

The years-long battle to force the Obama administration to release the nearly-7,000-page Senate Intelligence Committee's report detailing the CIA's post-9/11 torture program...

Report on CIA torture won’t be revealed under Freedom of Information Act

The US legal system has rejected the public disclosure of the full torture report, after American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued federal agencies just...
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Video: Tortured, Killed & Driven to Suicide: Whistleblower Exposes Abuse of Mentally Ill in...

http://democracynow.org - A shocking new exposé in The New Yorker magazine documents how prison guards at the Dade Correctional Institution in Florida ... Via Youtube

Stop the sale of torture weapons in Europe – Amnesty

Europe must stop advertising, displaying and selling potential tools of torture, such as spiked shields, weighted leg restraints and thumbcuffs, Amnesty International has said...
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Video: After a Landmark Legal Ruling, Will CIA Torture Victims Finally Have Their Day...

http://democracynow.org - A federal judge has allowed a landmark lawsuit to proceed against two psychologists who designed and implemented the CIA's ... Via Youtube

Torture: Stopping Terrorism… Or Is It Terrorism?

Daniel McAdams Just ten years after America was shocked at the treatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and just a year and...

Federal judge allows lawsuit to proceed against CIA contractors involved in torture

Via WSWS. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license. Tom Carter On Friday, a US federal district judge denied a motion...

CIA torture psychologists face court hearing over ‘war crimes’ by black site detainees

Former detainees tortured by the CIA at the agency’s notorious black sites are suing the psychologists hired to help design the controversial enhanced interrogation...
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Video: Former Abu Ghraib Interrogator: Because of Trump & Cruz, Door Still “Wide Open”...

http://democracynow.org - As Republican presidential candidates promise to bring back the torture techniques used under the George W. Bush administration, ... Via Youtube
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Video: A Torturer’s Confession: Former Abu Ghraib Interrogator Speaks Out

http://democracynow.org - Eric Fair served as an interrogator in Iraq working as a military contractor for the private security firm CACI. He was stationed...
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Video: Ex-Abu Ghraib Interrogator: Israelis Trained U.S. to Use “Palestinian Chair” Torture Device

http://democracynow.org - As a former interrogator in Iraq working as a military contractor for the private security firm CACI, Eric Fair was stationed at...

A Torturer's Confession: Former Abu Ghraib Interrogator Speaks Out

Eric Fair served as an interrogator in Iraq working as a military contractor for the private security firm CACI. He was stationed...

United States of Torture: When it comes to “enhanced interrogation,” Americans agree with Donald...

As far as we know — which often isn’t much when issues of national security are involved — the U.S. government stopped waterboarding suspected...
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Video: Family of Mexican Man “Tortured & Killed” by U.S. Border Agents Seeks Justice...

http://democracynow.org - The family of a Mexican immigrant killed by Border Patrol agents in 2010 is launching an unprecedented effort to hold the United...

Family of Mexican Man "Tortured and Killed" by US Border Agents Seeks Justice at...

The family of a Mexican immigrant killed by Border Patrol agents in 2010 is launching an unprecedented effort to hold the United...

US Intelligence Veterans Warn Against Torture

To those living "outside the Beltway" it may seem counterintuitive that those of us whose analysis has been correct on key issues...

US Intel Vets Warn Against Torture

To those living “outside the Beltway” it may seem counterintuitive that those of us whose analysis has been correct on key issues that the...

The GOP Response to Belgium? Torture and the "Patrolling and Securing" of Muslim Neighborhoods

Following the Belgium attacks, Republican presidential contender Ted Cruz issued a statement saying, "We need to immediately halt the flow of refugees...

US Intel Vets Warn Against Torture

By Ray McGovern To those living “outside the Beltway” it may seem counterintuitive that those of us whose analysis has been correct on key issues...

With Obama in Cuba, Pro-Torture Pundits Suddenly Concerned With Human Rights

US President Barack Obama landed in Havana Sunday to great fanfare, both in Cuba and stateside. His visit marks a significant shift of the...
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Video: Solitary Confinement is “Torture:”

Shoatz attorney and Legal Director of the Abolitionist Law Center Bret Grote discussed this forthcoming trial about the issue of solitary confinement. Via Youtube

Ray McGovern on the CIA, Torture and Blowing the Whistle

In this video acTVism Munich interviews former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analyst, Ray McGovern, who talks about his experience in the agency...

Saudi Arabia ‘fights torture’ & ‘promotes human rights,’ Gulf state tells UN

Saudi Arabia told the United Nations Human Rights Council that it “fights torture” and leads...

US government ‘silent’ as UAE tortures my family: US citizen

An American citizen whose father and brother are being detained in the United Arab Emirates has accused the Obama administration of keeping silent as...

UK suppresses documents on Gitmo ‘torture collusion’

The British government is withholding key documents which could shed light on allegations of UK's involvement in the torture of detainees in Guantanamo prison,...
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Video: Russian prison torture: Shocking video of inmate whipped & urinated on sparks media...

A Russian news website has released video footage which allegedly depicts extreme cruelty towards prisoners in a male penal colony in Russia's Ural region. Via...
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Video: What Is the Government Still Hiding? ACLU Continues Fight to Obtain Photos of...

http://democracynow.org - Earlier this month, the Pentagon released nearly 200 photographs relating to the abuse of prisoners by U.S. military personnel in Iraq ... Via...

New GOP Plans for Torture

President Obama’s failure to prosecute Bush-era torturers created an impunity that has encouraged some Republican presidential candidates to tout new plans for more torture...

John Kiriakou: Let’s End Torture in US Prisons

Solitary confinement is exactly what it sounds like. A prisoner is kept in a small cell – usually 6 feet by 10 – alone, for...
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Video: Trump Leads GOP Charge Embracing Torture: “I’d Bring Back a Hell of a...

http://democracynow.org - In the final debate before Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, Republican presidential contenders battled it out Saturday night at ... Via Youtube

Obama administration continues suppression of torture photos

Tom Carter On Friday, the Department of Defense released 198 out of around 2,000 photos showing torture and other war crimes perpetrated by US military...

Let’s End Torture in U.S. Prisons

Solitary confinement is exactly what it sounds like. A prisoner is kept in a small cell — usually 6 feet by 10 — alone, for...
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Video: Pentagon delays release of images of tortured Afghan, Iraqi prisoners despite court order

The American military has again delayed the publication of images of torture in US prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan. They were supposed to be...
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Video: Will U.S. Deport Kurdish Activist Ibrahim Parlak Back to Turkey Where He Was...

We turn now to a case of Michigan resident Ibrahim Parlak, who faces imminent deportation in an asylum case that stretches back more than...
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Video: Military Injustice: As Bowe Bergdahl Court-Martialed, Navy SEALs Tied to Torture, Killing Walk...

While Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl is court-martialed and faces continued Republican-led attacks, a case of deadly abuse and a potential cover-up in the Navy has...
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Video: US Navy accused of covering up abuse, tortures of Afghan detainees

Though several US soldiers accused a SEAL team of beating and waterboarding Afghan men detained after a checkpoint bombing, their commanding officer ... Via Youtube
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Video: We Won’t Torture Anymore: APA Tells U.S. to Withdraw Psychologists from Nat. Sec....

The American Psychological Association has officially notified the U.S. government of its new policy barring psychologists from participating in national security ... Via Youtube
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Video: Victims of U.S. Rendition & Torture Starting to Reclaim Rights Says Council of...

More than 25 European countries cooperated with the CIA's rendition, torture and secret prison program, and the quest for accountability continues today. Via Youtube
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Video: WikiLeaks exposes CIA Chief’s emails on torture tactics, Iran, Afghanstan

WikiLeaks has come into possession of the contents of CIA chief John Brennan's email account. Among the documents, from the period when Brennan worked...
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Video: CIA ‘Queen of Torture’ could face trial in Germany

A German human rights group filed a criminal complaint in court against Alfreda Frances Bikowsky, a CIA agent dubbed “Queen of Torture.” The group...

Psychologists Accused of "Criminal Enterprise" With CIA Over Torture

Washington - Two former detainees and the family of a third who died in custody filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the American psychologists who...

Guantanamo survivors sue psychologists who designed CIA torture program

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit on behalf of three former Guantanamo detainees against two psychologists responsible for creating and overseeing...

Lawsuit Filed Against CIA Torture Psychologists Physicians for Human Rights Welcomes ACLU’s Case, Demands...

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) today welcomed a federal lawsuit against psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, the architects of the CIA’s post-9/11 torture...

Britain’s Secret State And The Widespread Use Of Torture

The last British prisoner in Guantanamo Bay has claimed that Britain knew flawed evidence, used to justify the Iraq War, had been obtained under...

Court Cites UN Torture Convention to Protect Transgender Immigrants in the US

Earlier this month, a three-judge panel in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that immigration courts must distinguish between sexual orientation and...

US Intel Vets Decry CIA’s Use of Torture

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) SUBJECT: Veteran Intelligence Professionals Challenge CIA’s “Rebuttal” on Torture Former CIA leaders responsible for allowing torture...

US Intel Vets Decry CIA’s Use of Torture

Torture defenders are back on the offensive publishing a book by ex-CIA leaders rebutting a Senate report that denounced the brutal tactics as illegal, inhumane and ineffective. Now,...
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Video: As Syrian Colonel Faces Charges in Maher Arar Torture Case, Will U.S. Ever...

Democracynow.org - In a move to hold government officials accountable for torture, Canada has charged Syrian Colonel George Salloum with allegedly ... Via Youtube

‘Groundbreaking’ Torture Charges Put US Rendition Tactics in Spotlight

'We need to see more accountability happening in Canada, in the U.S., in Jordan and in Syria. The ones who tortured and the ones...

Jeb Bush won’t rule out torture tactics, says they’re effective

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush told an audience in Iowa that he would not rule out resuming the use of torture by the US...

Let’s Talk About Torture

The CIA’s torture-era leadership won’t repent. Even after the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released its report saying in no uncertain terms that the...

New York governor implicated in torture by state prison officials

By Eric London An investigation published Tuesday in the New York Times revealed that prison guards at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York systematically...
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Video: No More Torture: World’s Largest Psychologists Group Bans Role in National Security Interrogations

http://democracynow.org - By a nearly unanimous vote, the American Psychological Association's Council of Representatives voted Friday to adopt a new policy barring ... Via Youtube

Thousands protest torture-murder of Mexican photojournalist and four women

By Rafael Azul Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets of Mexico City and other major cities in response to the brutal July 31 murder...
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Video: Anti-Torture Psychologists Celebrate New APA Interrogation Ban

Steven Reisner and Stephen Soldz, two founders of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology, speak to Amy Goodman in Toronto moments after the American...
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Video: Lead the Way Out of the Interrogation Room: Will American Psychological Assoc. End...

http://democracynow.org - We broadcast from Toronto, Canada, where the largest group of psychologists in the world, the American Psychological Association, ... Via Youtube
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Video: Gitmo is a “Rights-Free Zone”: Dissident Psychologists Speak Out on APA Role in...

http://democracynow.org - We broadcast from Toronto, Canada, site of the annual convention of the largest group of psychologists in the world, the American ... Via...
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Video: Gaddafi’s son torture video guarantees ‘maximum mistreatment’ — lawyer to RT

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Psychologists Aiding CIA Torture

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Video: Psychologists Collaborated with CIA & Pentagon on Post-9/11 Torture Program, May Face Ethics...

http://democracynow.org - A new independent review has revealed extensive details on how members of the the American Psychological Association, the ... Via Youtube

The APA torture scandal and the Nuremberg doctors’ trial

By Tom Carter A 542-page independent report made public by the New York Times on Friday implicates the American Psychological Association (APA) in the CIA torture...

​High Court: 100s of asylum seekers, torture victims CAN sue UK govt for illegal...

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100 Groups From Around the World to UN: Demand Accountability for CIA Torture

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Torture Is Already Illegal – So Why "Ban" It?

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Guantanamo detainee details CIA sexual abuse and torture

  (WSWS) - Newly-released testimony from Guantanamo Bay prisoner Majid Khan has shown that the CIA used torture practices that were “far more brutal and sadistic”...

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The Other Conspirator: Secret Origins of the CIA’s Torture Program

The witness reported men being hung by the feet or the thumbs, waterboarded, given electric shocks to the genitals, and suffering from extended solitary...

Federal court blocks release of CIA torture report

By Ed Hightower (WSWS) - A US District Court judge has thrown out a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that sought the...

US prisons rife with violence and torture against mentally disabled prisoners

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“Frontline” broadcast documents CIA torture program

  By Eric London (WSWS) -  On Tuesday, May 19, PBS aired an episode of its weekly television program “Frontline” documenting the Central Intelligence Agency’s torture of hundreds of...

Chicago Just Became the First US City to Pay Reparations to Victims of Police...

For nearly 20 years, officers of the Chicago Police Department tortured more than 100 people. How survivors and their lawyers won a decades-long fight. In...

US court rules to keep classified ‘torture’ documents secret

A court has blocked an effort by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to force the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to release secret records...

New torture allegations from Chicago “black site”

By David Brown (WSWS) - New allegations of sexual assault, torture, and the planting of evidence by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) have come to light as...

The Red Line of Torture

After I blew the whistle on the CIA’s torture program in 2007, the fallout for me was brutal. To make a long story short,...

Chicago residents speak on police torture at Homan Square "black site"

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More victims have come forward to detail recent abuse inside Homan Square, a secret compound used by Chicago police for incommunicado interrogations and detentions...

Poland pays compensation to ex-inmates of CIA torture sites on its territory

Published time: May 15, 2015 19:36

Szymany airport in Poland, allegedly used for covert prisoner transportation by the CIA in 2003 Poland.(AFP Photo / Piotr Placzkowski )

Warsaw has paid €230,000 to two former inmates of CIA "black site" prisons, which used to be on Poland's territory - a move that has raised questions in the country.

"Poland has fulfilled the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights," Deputy Foreign Minister Rafał Trzaskowski said on Thursday, RIA Novosti reports. He said that money had been sent to one victim's bank account. The other's share had been transferred to his court deposit, as he is under international sanctions.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in July 2014 that Poland must pay compensation to the two terror suspects: Palestinian Abu Zubaydah and Saudi Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who were held and tortured in CIA-run detention centers in Poland between 2002 and 2003. The court set this Saturday as the deadline for the payments.

The two men are now being held in America's Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. They are to receive €100,000 each for psychological damage, plus Zubaydah is due an additional €30,000 in court expenses.

READ MORE: Renewed suspicions US was ‘lobbied’ to leave UK out of CIA torture report

Warsaw's decision to pay up raised questions in Poland. Opposition lawmaker Witold Waszczykowski, cited by AP, said: “I think we shouldn’t pay, we shouldn’t respect this judgment. This is a case not between us and them – it’s between them and the United States government.”

However, no US officials have been held accountable to date. The only other related ruling handed down by the European Court of Human Rights was to Macedonia. In 2012, it was ordered to pay €60,000 for the detention of a Lebanese-German, who was subjected to abuse by the CIA on trumped up terror suspicions.

Poland has been investigating allegations of secret CIA detention centers or "black sites" on its territory since 2008. In December 2014, Poland's former President Aleksander Kwaśniewski officially admitted that a secret CIA prison had existed at an airbase, where terror suspects were brought for torture and interrogation. He insisted, though, that Warsaw had no idea about the abuse happening at the site.

Kwaśniewski's statement came on the heels of a US Senate committee report on CIA activities. In August the same year, Barack Obama admitted for the first time that torture had indeed taken place in American custody after the 9/11 attacks.

READ MORE: 'Crimes and Impunity': Amnesty slams US failure to act on torture report

The authorities should have expected to be held accountable sooner or later, criminology professor Ben Davis told RT. "The only people who have been betrayed in all of this are the ordinary people in all of these countries," he said. "The ordinary citizens who count on their governments not to torture people, to comply with their obligations in international law or domestic law."

Closing the Door on Torture

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Secret Coordination Between American Psychological Association And US Torture Regime

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Investigating CIA Torture: The Bureau and The Rendition Project publish first quarterly report

An unprecedented picture of the 119 individuals secretly detained and tortured by the CIA as part of the US’s war on terror has been...
Reuters / Jim Young

Torture victims to get $5.5 million from Chicago police

The city of Chicago says it will pay $5.5 million to compensate victims who were tortured by law enforcement under the administration of a...

See Ex-CIA Director Porter Goss Squirm As He Gets Grilled About CIA Torture

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Master’s Degree: Teaching Torture as a Western Value

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Did the CIA Really Get a “Bum Rap” on Torture?

Last week, David Cole, the Hon. George J. Mitchell Professor in Law and Public Policy at Georgetown University Law Center, the co-chairman of the...

From Torture to Drone Assassination: How Washington Gave Itself a Global Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card

"The sovereign is he who decides on the exception," said conservative thinker Carl Schmitt in 1922, meaning that a nation's leader can defy the...

US Senate Intelligence committee corrects CIA torture report after Bureau probe

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Above the law? UK govt attempts to block torture, rendition lawsuit

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MPs’ torture statement based on “limited” evidence

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6 Heroes Who Refused to Torture

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Dick Cheney and the Worship of Torture

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Freed CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou Says “I Would Do It All Again” to Expose...

In a broadcast exclusive interview, we spend the hour with John Kiriakou, a retired CIA agent who has just been released from prison after...

In Torture Report Face-Off, ACLU Fights GOP Repo Man

If the White House gives in to Sen. Richard Burr's demands, civil rights group says it 'faces the real threat of never securing the...

CIA torture report architect denounces GOP attempt to have all copies returned

The architect of the Senate’s landmark inquiry into Central Intelligence Agency torture is denouncing an unusual demand from her successor to return all classified...

Revealed: Only 29 of 119 Detainees Tortured by CIA Remain in Guantánamo

Less than a quarter of the 119 detainees named in the US Senate’s summary report into the CIA’s secret torture programme remain in the military prison for the most...

Torture’s Time for Accountability

Ray McGovern I trust I was not alone in seeing irony in President Barack Obama’s public chiding of Sony on Friday for caving in to...

Torture and State Power

In his book ‘Discipline and Punish’ Michel Foucault placed the relation of physical torture to subsequent non-violent strategies of social coercion, ‘scientific’ social control...

‘UK govt betrayed us,’ say Al-Sweady soldiers cleared of Iraqi murder, torture

British soldiers recently cleared of accusations including torture, murder and mutilation of Iraqi detainees say they were “betrayed” by the government for having to...

Americans Support Torture … Because They Don’t Know THIS

Reprinted with permission from Washington's Blog What Americans STILL Don’t Know… New polls show that — even after the Senate torture report showed that torture is...

Defenders of the CIA Torture Program Are Driving America to Moral Suicide

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UK drone net got torture-grade CIA comms

A computer network that the US Central Intelligence Agency began using a decade ago to conduct the kidnap and torture of terrorist suspects has...

Advocates of CIA Torture Victims Demand: ‘Charge Them, Or Let Them Go’

In the wake of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee's bombshell report last week, advocates for those who were victims of the CIA's brutal torture...

CIA Psychological Torture Is Still Torture

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Democracy Shredded – Torture and America

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The US Must Prosecute Torturers and their Enablers, or Forever Be a Labeled a...

In all the media debate about the Senate Intelligence Committee’s release, finally, of a heavily redacted report on officially sanctioned torture by the CIA...

Torture “Architect” Mistaken in Claim Nobody’s Punished for Drone Murders

David Swanson  RINF Alternative News A psychologist who played a key role in a U.S. torture program said on a video yesterday that torture was excusable...

Russell Brand on CIA Torture Report: If Rape Is Being Used As a Way...

Ella Alexander Russell Brand has described the CIA’s torture report as “terrifying” in his latest episode of The Trews. The Senate Intelligence Committee's report will reveal the extent...

Only CIA Agent Jailed for Torture Program Is Whistleblower Who Confirmed Its Existence

Former operative John Kiriakou, currently in prison, was charged with a crime after helping expose widespread abuses conducted by agency Sarah Lazare There is only one...

Horrific Torture Report Shows Why Much Of The World Considers America To Be The...

Michael Snyder  RINF Alternative News Good guys do not sadistically torture people. Good guys do not threaten to sexually abuse the family members of their prisoners,...

Stop Believing the Lies: America Tortured More Than ‘Some Folks’ — and Covered It...

It wasn’t that bad, we’ve been told, over and over again, for more than a decade. “We only waterboarded three people” goes the line...

Britain and the US have always used torture

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UK complicit? US Senate report into CIA torture and rendition due

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CIA torture report to be published on Monday without the word ‘torture’

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Obama: War Criminal, Tyrant, Torturer, Racist, Corporate Tool, World-Class Thug

Stephen Lendman  RINF Alternative News His record speaks for itself. Ideologically over-the-top. Lawless. Reckless. Ruthless by any standard. Reflecting the worst of rogue leadership. Mocking democratic values....

When the System Provides No Remedies to Torture, You Must Overthrow It

“Remedies are precisely what the United States refuses to offer to Black people.” Glen Ford Over the past four months, the world has come to know...

Rampant Use of Solitary Confinement in the US Constitutes Torture

Alexis Agathocleous George Ruiz is 72 years old. For the past 30 years, he has spent every day alone – locked in a cramped, windowless...

The United States Admits It “Crossed a Line” on Torture. That’s the Least of...

Sarah Mehta On Wednesday, the United Nations Committee Against Torture began its review of the United States’ record on torture–not only at the infamous Guantánamo...

US words on Gitmo torture ‘laughable’ without release of force feeding tapes

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Obama and the Convention Against Torture

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US: ‘No Nation Is Perfect.’ ‘We Crossed the Line.’ (But Don’t Expect Accountability for...

Despite earlier indications, White House tells panel in Geneva that U.S. will abide by UN Convention Against Torture... for the most part  Jon Queally The Obama...

U.N. Presses U.S. on Torture Policies

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Heading Toward a Constitutional Crisis on Torture

“…Congressional oversight of the Intelligence Community was relatively stringent    and aggressive and defined by a bipartisan understanding that Congress played a key part in...

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Judge Slams Obama Administration for Hiding Torture Photos From Iraq, Afghanistan

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American Exceptionalism at Play in Interpreting the Convention on Torture

Michael Ratner of the Centre for Constitutional Rights rejects the idea that the convention on torture exempts the US outside its borders http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ecgr_C8tfY

UAE court upholds sentence for tortured British student

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British student tortured in UAE to face sentence tomorrow

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Hearing for UK rendition and complicity in torture case begins tomorrow

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Court Allows Criminal Gitmo Torture Footage To Remain Secret

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Sources quoted by the Washinton Post say ISIS "knew exactly how it was done" as it employed brutal techniques also approved by Bush administration Jon...

CIA rendition torture victims demand to be acknowledged in Senate report

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NYT Responds on Torture

New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan (8/19/14) responded to a FAIR Action Alert (8/18/14) by saying that she agreed coverage of an Amnesty International...

NYT Would Call It Torture — If It Covered Torture

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Still Tolerating Torture

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With Obama Torture Admission, John Yoo Should Be Investigated

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It’s About the Lying: On John Brennan, the CIA, and Torture

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White House accidentally leaks post-9/11 CIA torture report findings

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Pushing Release of CIA Torture Report, Senators Threaten Use of Special Rule

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End Torture, Shut Down the CIA!

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Obama administration grants architects of torture sneak peak at Senate Intelligence Committee report on...

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EU Court: Poland Enabled CIA Torture

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The CIA’s Global Torture Operations: Disclosure under Barack Obama, the Most Secretive President in...

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Editor of Russian-Language Newspaper Tortured and Killed in Eastern Ukraine

The editor of two Russian-language newspapers who was seized last month in eastern Ukraine and who was believed to have been held by Ukrainian government forces has been found dead,...

America: Where the “Good Guys” Torture

In a twisted new world, the all-American heroes wield the pliers and waterboards. Rebecca Gordon Once upon a time, if a character on TV or in...

Why Should Anyone Trust a Government That Kills, Maims, Tortures, Lies, Spies, Cheats, and...

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 “Why should anyone trust a government that has condoned torture, spied on at least 35 world leaders, supports indefinite detention, places bugs in thousands of computers all over the world, kills innocent people with drone attacks, promotes the post office to log mail for law enforcement agencies and arbitrarily authorizes targeted assassinations? Or, for that […]

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Talk Nation Radio: Rebecca Gordon on Mainstreaming Torture

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-rebecca-gordon-on-mainstreaming-torture

A new book called Mainstreaming Torture argues that torture has been with us for a long time and remains with us and has been mainstreamed and increased in acceptability in the years since Bush and Cheney left office.  We speak with the author, Rebecca Gordon. She teaches in the Philosophy department at the University of San Francisco. Previous publications include Letters From Nicaragua  and Cruel and Usual: How Welfare “Reform” Punishes Poor People. She is an editor of WarTimes/Tiempo de guerras, which seeks to bring a race, class, and gender perspective to issues of war and peace.

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download from Archive or LetsTryDemocracy.

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read more

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Healthcare Professionals Involvement in US Torture


Healthcare Professionals Involvement in US Torture

by Stephen Lendman

On November 4, an independent panel of military, ethics, medical, public health, and legal experts said Pentagon and CIA officials directed doctors and psychologist to ignore medical ethics, principles and standards.

Post-9/11, the Task Force on Preserving Medical Professionalism in National Security Detention Centers said they collaborate in securing intelligence.

"(D)esigning, participating in, and enabling torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment" substituted for do no harm. Established practices continue.

Dr. Gerald Thomson is Columbia University Professor of Medicine Emeritus. He's duly outraged.   
"The American public has a right to know that the covenant with its physicians to follow professional ethical expectations is firm regardless of where they serve," he said.
"It’s clear that in the name of national security the military trumped that covenant, and physicians were transformed into agents of the military and performed acts that were contrary to medical ethics and practice." 
"We have a responsibility to make sure this never happens again."
The Task Force's report is titled "Ethics Abandoned: Medical Professionalism and Detainee Abuse in the War on Terror. More on it below.
Ethics Abandoned isn't the first report on healthcare professionals abandoning their oath to do no harm.
In April 2009, a confidential February 2007 ICRC torture report was released. It's titled "ICRC Report on the Treatment of Fourteen 'High Value Detainees' in CIA Custody."

It discusses harsh and abusive treatment. It does so from time of arrest, detention, transfer, and incarceration at Guantanamo. 

It explains the involvement of healthcare professionals. It covers:

  • their monitoring of and direct participation in torture procedures;

  • instructing interrogators to continue, adjust, or stop certain ones;

  • informing detainees that medical treatment depended on their cooperation;

  • performing medical checks before and after each torture session; and

  • treating the effects of torture as well as ailments and injuries during incarceration.

Condoning or participating in torture grossly violates medical ethics. Doing so is strictly prohibited.

The World Medical Association (WMA) Declaration of Tokyo "Guidelines for Physicians Concerning Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in Relation to Detention and Imprisonment" states:

In all cases at all times, "physician(s) shall not countenance, condone or participate in" torture or any other form of abuse.

They "shall not use nor allow to be used (their) medical knowledge or skills, or health information" to aid abusive interrogations in any way.

They "shall not be present during any procedure during which torture or any other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment is used or threatened."

They "must have complete clinical independence" in treating persons entrusted to their care. 

WMA encourages the international community and practicing physicians to support medical professionals who face "threats or reprisals resulting from a refusal to condone" all forms of torture and abuse.

According to Protocol I of the 1949 Geneva Conventions:

"Persons engaged in medical activities shall neither be compelled to perform acts or to carry out work contrary to, nor be compelled to refrain from acts required by, the rules of medical ethics or other rules designed for the benefit of the wounded and sick, or this Protocol."

In July 2006, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) published a report titled, "Report on Torture and Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment of Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."

It included evidence of medical personnel involvement in torture. Eyewitness testimonies confirmed it. So did prisoners CCR lawyers interviewed.

International law is clear and unequivocal. The UN Convention Against Torture prohibits it at all times, under all circumstances, with no allowed exceptions.

Third Geneva bans "violence to life and person (as well as) humiliating and degrading treatment." It mandates proper medical care.

Fourth Geneva affords the same rights to civilians in times of war. The federal anti-torture statute (18 USC, 2340A) prohibits its use. 

It defines is as "an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering...upon another person within his custody or physical control."

Constitutional law prohibits cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment or punishment.  

The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) bans cruelty, oppression, actions intended to degrade or humiliate, and physical, menacing, and threatening assaults.

The US War Crimes Act prohibits grave Geneva breaches.

Geneva's Common Article III prohibits "violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture (as well as) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment."

It doesn't matter. Torture remains official US policy. Medical professionals are criminally involved.

The Task Force report is based on two years research. Its 19 members reviewed public domain records. 

Department of Defense and CIA policies "institutionalized a variety of interventions by military and intelligence agency doctors and psychologists that breach ethical standards to promote well-being and avoid harm." They include:

  • "Involvement in abusive interrogation; consulting on conditions of confinement to increase the disorientation and anxiety of detainees; 

  • Using medical information for interrogation purposes; and 

  • Force-feeding of hunger strikers."

Vital medical care was denied. Healthcare professionals "substantially deviate from ethical standards traditionally applied to civilian medical personnel."

Grave breaches include:

  • "Excus(ing) violations of ethical standards by inappropriately characterizing health professionals engaged in interrogation as 'safety officers;' 

  • Implement(ing) rules that permitted medical and psychological information obtained by health professionals to be used in interrogations; 

  • Requir(ing) physicians and nurses to forgo their independent medical judgment and counseling roles, as well as to force-feed competent detainees engaged in hunger strikes even though this is forbidden by the World Medical Association and the American Medical Association; 

  • Improperly designat(ing) licensed health professionals to use their professional skills to interrogate detainees as military combatants, a status incompatible with licensing; and 

  • Fail(ing) to uphold recommendations by the Army Surgeon General to adopt international standards for medical reporting of abuse against detainees."

CIA Office of Medical Services personnel were criminally involved in approving so-called "enhanced interrogation" methods (aka torture and other forms of abuse).

The Institute on Medicine as a Profession (IMAP) endorsed the Task Force's report. IMAP promotes professionalism in medicine.

It conducts research on past, present and future professionalism roles. It wants it to be relevant to physicians, medical organization leaders, policy analysts, public officials and consumers.

Its president, David Rothman said:

"Putting on a uniform does not and should not abrogate the fundamental principles of medical professionalism."

" 'Do no harm' and 'put patient interest first' must apply to all physicians regardless of where they practice."

Task Force members say US agencies continue "follow(ing) policies that undermine standards of professional conduct."

They do so with regard to interrogations, hunger strikes, and reporting abuse. Ethical breaches include:

  • "issuing protocols requiring doctors and nurses to participate in the force-feeding of detainees, including forced extensive bodily restraints for up to two hours twice a day;

  • enabling interrogators access to medical and psychological information about detainees for exploitation by interrogators; and

  • permitting clinical care for detainees to suffer from the inability or failure of clinicians to address causes of detainee distress from torture."

Task Force member Leonard Rubenstein is a Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Center for Human Rights and Berman Institute of Bioethics legal scholar.

"Abuse of detainees, and health professional participation in this practice, is not behind us as a country," he said.

"Force-feeding by physicians in violation of ethical standards is illustrative of a much broader legacy in which medical professionalism has been undermined."

Task Force members urge current unethical practices be fully and independently investigated. 

They call for establishing codes of conduct complying fully with proper medical and psychological practices.

They want what they're not likely to get. It bears repeating. Torture is official US policy. 

Guantanamo is the tip of the iceberg. America maintains torture prison black sites. It does so globally. Abusive practices continue out of sight and mind.

Washington is by far the world's leading human rights abuser. It's unaccountable. Media scoundrels ignore it.

America gets away with the worst kinds of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment. Obama exceeds the worst of George Bush. 

He bears full responsibility for unspeakable crimes against humanity. They continue out-of-control on his watch.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

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Mr Hutchinson was speaking at the UK launch of a report on ‘Detainee Treatment’ produced by a panel of former security officials, military figures, and senior US politicians.  He was joined by former US Ambassador to the UN, Thomas Pickering, also a member of the panel, who agreed with his view on the UK Government’s claims.  Ambassador Pickering stated that the information being shared and the partnership between the US and UK were “too important” and that, as a result, “of course” the information would be shared.
 
Ambassador Pickering also criticised the recently-passed Justice and Security Act, which rolls out secret courts known as Closed Material Procedures across the civil justice system in Britain, arguing that it seems it will lead to “more secrecy, not less.”
 
On Shaker Aamer, the British resident detained at Guantanamo Bay despite having been cleared for release, he said that “The US should immediately release Aamer or give reasons for his continued detention.”
 
Commenting, Cori Crider said: “When a Bush-era senior security official and a former US ambassador both dismiss the UK Government’s claims on why torture cases should not come before the court, it becomes clear that ministers do not have a leg to stand on.   Government lawyers are trotting out the same tired old line to try to avoid accountability: that it will harm national security, and the US will stop sharing intelligence with us.  Under-Secretary Hutchinson’s and Ambassador Pickering’s comments show that this claim is nonsense.”
 
ENDS
 
Notes to editors
 
1. For further information, please contact Donald Campbell in Reprieve’s press office: +44 (0) 207 553 8166 / [email protected] uk

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Dahr Jamail Returns to Iraq to Find Rampant Torture and a Failed State Living...

Investigative journalist Dahr Jamail reported for Democracy Now! throughout the early stages of the U.S. invasion of Iraq 10 years ago. Now with Al Jazeera, Jamail has just returned from Iraq once again, finding what he calls a "failed state" living in "utter devastation." In part one of our interview, Jamail discusses the harrowing security situation for Iraqis living in fear of bombings, executions and kidnappings, the widespread torture in Iraq’s prisons, and the breakdown of security in what he calls a "lawless state." Jamail is the author of "Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq" and "The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan."

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

Nermeen Shaikh: On the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-led attack on Iraq, a series of deadly bomb blasts has hit the capital city of Baghdad. The first attack came early morning Tuesday and killed a Finance Ministry official. It was followed by more than a dozen bombings that targeted a vegetable market, a bank and a restaurant. At least 65 people were killed, and hundreds more were wounded. The spate of violence comes as many Iraqis are reflecting on what has changed in their country since the invasion, which led to the ouster of longtime leader Saddam Hussein. Many say they have yet to see any of the benefits they were promised.

Ghali Al-Atwani: [translated] The decision to go to war in Iraq was incorrect. Firstly, Iraq was put under Chapter VII. Then the war was waged. Nothing has changed in Iraq. There was Saddam’s dictatorship before, but now there’s a collective dictatorship in Iraq. What has changed in Iraq? The economic situation is very bad. The public services are in poor condition. Baghdad was flooded with water because of heavy rains. So the Americans always bring destruction and death in every place they go and invade.

Amy Goodman:The almost nine-year U.S. occupation of Iraq led to the deaths of at least 134,000 Iraqi civilians and contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands more. Many in Iraq continue to suffer the consequences of the invasion.

Later we’ll also talk about the war’s impact on U.S. military veterans, but first we’re joined by longtime Democracy Now! contributor Dahr Jamail, now an investigative reporter for Al Jazeera English in Doha. If you watched our coverage during the 10 years of the invasion, you will remember his reports from Fallujah and elsewhere. Dahr recently returned to Baghdad, where he filed several major reports. His recent stories for Al Jazeera include  and  He’s also reported on the million displaced Iraqis who are struggling without government aid. Dahr Jamail is the author of Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq and The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Welcome welcome back to Democracy Now!, Dahr. It’s good to have you with us. We last saw you when we were in Doha, as well. That’s where you are, at the studios of Al Jazeera. Dahr, talk about what you found in your most recent trip to Iraq.

Dahr Jamail:Well, it’s a huge question, Amy, because the situation in Iraq today, 10 years after the U.S.-led invasion and occupation began, it’s just utter devastation. It’s a situation where, overall, we can say that Iraq is a failed state. The economy is in a state of crisis, perpetual crisis, that began far back with the institution of the 100 Bremer orders during—under the Coalition Provisional Authority, the civil government set up to run Iraq during the first year of the occupation. And it’s been in crisis ever since.

The average Iraqi is just barely getting by. And how can they get by when there’s virtually no security across much large swaths of country to this day, where, you know, as we see in the headlines recently, even when there’s not these dramatic, spectacular days of dozens of people being killed by bombs across Baghdad and other parts of Iraq, on any given day there’s assassinations, there’s detentions, there’s abductions and people being disappeared and kidnapped? One of the demands, for example, of the ongoing Sunni protests in Fallujah and across much of Al Anbar province is to ban silencer weapons, as they describe them, because there are so many hidden executions happening. Iraq has basically become a lawless state where the government is laughingly referred to oftentimes as the "sidewalks government," because one of the only things visible that they’ve actually accomplished is to install some new sidewalks across parts of Baghdad.

But it’s really hard to describe the amount of devastation. I mean, we’re having to talk about a country where, since 2003 began, we can cite the Lancet study that was published in the peer-reviewed Lancet medical journal in 2006, which way back in that time, seven years ago—excuse me, seven years ago now, found 655,000 excess deaths in Iraq. And that’s now a grossly outdated study, particularly given the level of violence we saw in 2006, 2007, and the low-level chronic violence that perpetuates to this day.

Nermeen Shaikh: Dahr Jamail, a lot of people say that what’s going on in Iraq now is not so much the result of the U.S. invasion but rather sectarian war between Sunnis and Shias. Could you respond to that? Do you agree?

Dahr Jamail:I don’t agree. I think all of this is a direct result of—either direct or indirectly a result of the U.S. invasion and occupation and the strategy applied. I mean, we saw something come out just last week in a joint investigation of BBC Arabic and The Guardian, which gave hard evidence, insider evidence, of the machinations of the U.S. using retired Lieutenant Colonel James Steele, infamous during the Reagan administration of orchestrating so many of the death squads in Central America along with Negroponte. Well, Negroponte happened to be the U.S. ambassador to Iraq for some of the occupation and, of course, brought in his old buddy James Steele to set up the same types of tactics, the detentions, the types of torture techniques that we’re seeing rampant across today—across Iraq today, the blatant attempts to foment sectarian violence, sort of a divide-and-conquer policy. Even Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld under Bush, back around 2006, 2007, referred to kind of casually using the "Salvador Option" in Iraq, and that’s precisely what he was describing.

So, the sectarianism fomented where, you know, we don’t have a natural sectarianism or animosities between the sects in Iraq, but it was only after the occupation began and these strategies were applied by the Bush administration that we saw the violence, the purging in the mixed neighborhoods, that continues to this day, and the sectarianism, and basically turning Iraqis against one another very effectively. And this is a direct result of the Bush administration policy, as well as bringing in Maliki as prime minister himself.

We have to remember that when neoconservative Zalmay Khalilzad was the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Maliki was basically the guy that the U.S. government and Iran could agree with as having as prime minister. And so, there wasn’t a whole lot of democracy involved in that whatsoever. I say, tongue in cheek, he was basically appointed by Zalmay Khalilzad and agreed upon by the powers that be in Iran, and he of course remains prime minister to this day despite—we’ve had elections that clearly he has not won, yet he remains in power.

Amy Goodman:Dahr, I wanted to go to that Guardian/BBC Arabic report that found that a key U.S. general behind the effort, James Steele, as you said, had firsthand knowledge of brutal torture carried out by Iraqi surrogates but did nothing to stop it. Steele served as then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s liaison with Iraq’s Special Police Commandos. His stint in Iraq came 20 years after overseeing the U.S. special operations forces that trained government death squads in El Salvador. Speaking to The Guardian, an Iraqi general said Steele was unfazed when the torture of a young prisoner interrupted his lunch.

Gen. Muntadher Al-Samari:[translated] One of the detainees was screaming. By chance, James Steele was there outside, washing his hands. He opened the door and saw the detainee. He was hanging by his legs, upside down. James Steele didn’t react at all when he saw this man. It was just normal. He closed the door and came back to his seat in the advisers’ room.

Amy Goodman:Steele was a colonel. Dahr Jamail?

Dahr Jamail:Well, he’s a veteran of that kind of tactic. This goes way back to the ’80s all across Central America, which, you know, he clearly had plenty of opportunity to streamline his techniques. And that type of torture described in the clip that you just played is rampant.

The story that I did, talking primarily about the tactics and strategies being used by Maliki’s security forces, and particularly within the prisons—first of all, we have a situation where detentions across Iraq, primarily in Sunni-dominated parts of Baghdad, as well as in areas like Fallujah, predominantly Sunni cities, where people are being detained, en masse at times, nightly home raids, same type of stuff that the U.S. military used when they were in Iraq. And then the types of torture being described coming out of the prisons is truly horrific: people being hung by their ankles for days at a time while their heads are in buckets of water on the ground; people having their hands tied behind their backs and then hung from their hands for sometimes days at a time; electrical shock being used on people’s limbs, on their genitals, on their tongues; men being raped by broom handles as well as bottles; women in prison being raped. I spoke with one woman released just over a week ago at this point, talking about how she had been in prison for four years and was raped repeatedly by Iraqi forces.

Other types of techniques being used—and again, all of this comes back to the types of workings of Colonel James Steele, where as people are being—men are being threatened. And I interviewed several Iraqis who said this, that when they were detained, they said, "Look, they threatened me that if I didn’t talk and give them the information they wanted or give them some names that would help them acquire the information that they wanted," that their sisters, their mothers, their wives would be brought in and raped repeatedly in front of them. So, of course people would just start giving them anything that they thought they wanted to hear.

But the types of torture is ongoing. It’s rampant. It’s one of the driving factors as to why we’re seeing massive Friday protests now, well into the three month, across Al Anbar province and the Adhamiyah district of Baghdad, where Sunnis are demanding a halt for the detentions, a halt of the so-called Article 4, which is the legislation passed and being used in the Iraqi government that—basically where they took a page out of the Bush playbook of giving them carte blanche to arrest anybody for any reasons under the guise of terrorism charges, of suspected terrorism, and then they can be held indefinitely. I spoke with people both at Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch about this, and they said one of the problems now is, it’s the detentions and the being held secretly is so rampant now by the Iraqi security forces that there isn’t really even a need for secret prisons anymore. Remember a ways back, we had—it all came out that there were secret Maliki prisons. Well, now, today in Iraq, they’re referring—they’re being referred to by a lot of Iraqis as "secret prisoners," because people are being detained, their families aren’t—there’s no law requiring that the families be notified, nobody knows where these people are. They can be held in any prison anywhere in broad daylight, because no name is being registered anywhere. So, literally, we have untold numbers of people being detained, being treated horrifically.

And as people in Fallujah have told me, they said, "Look, we think that the Maliki regime tactics are even worse than the Americans," because when the Americans—when they detain people, there was at least hope that they would eventually be released, and likelihood that they would. Under Maliki, that hope is gone; there’s not a hope. The Fallujahns also referred to as the Americans therefore being at least somewhat more merciful than the tactics being employed by the Maliki regime, because people are being detained and not being heard from again, except in one instance, I interviewed the mother of a young man. He was 17 years old when he was detained. He was held for a year and a half. They never could find him, until she received a phone call from him saying, "Look, I’ve been a prisoner in these prisons, and I’m getting one last phone call to say goodbye to you, because tomorrow I’m going to be executed."

Amy Goodman:Dahr Jamail, we’re going to come back to you. Dahr Jamail, investigative journalist who has just returned from Iraq, he’s speaking to us from Al Jazeera headquarters in Doha. This is Democracy Now! We’ll be back with him in a minute.

Maliki’s Iraq: Rape, Executions and Torture

Iraq is wracked by detentions, torture, and executions, and fingers are pointing at Prime Minister Maliki.

Baghdad - Heba al-Shamary (name changed for security reasons) was released last week from an Iraqi prison where she spent the last four years.

"I was tortured and raped repeatedly by the Iraqi security forces," she told Al Jazeera. "I want to tell the world what I and other Iraqi women in prison have had to go through these last years. It has been a hell."

Heba was charged with terrorism, a fate faced by many Iraqis who are detained by security forces.

"I now want to explain to people what is occurring in the prisons that [Prime Minister Nouri al-] Maliki and his gangs are running," Heba added. "I was raped over and over again, I was kicked and beaten and insulted and spit upon."

Heba's story, horrific as it is, unfortunately is but one example of what a recent report from Amnesty International refers to as "a grim cycle of human rights abuses" in Iraq today.

The report, "Iraq: Still paying a high price after a decade of abuses", exposes a long chronology of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees committed by Iraqi security forces, as well as by foreign troops, in the wake of the US-led 2003 invasion.

One Iraqi woman, speaking on condition of anonymity, said her nephew was first detained when he was just 18. Held under the infamous Article Four which gives the government the ability to arrest anyone "suspected" of terrorism, he was charged with terrorism. She told, in detail, of how her nephew was treated:

"They beat him with metal pipes, used harsh curse words and swore against his sect and his Allah (because he is Sunni) and why God was not helping him, and that they would bring up the prisoners' mothers and sisters to rape them," she explained to Al Jazeera. "Then they used electricity to burn different places of his body. They took all his cloths off in winter and left them naked out in the yard to freeze."

Her nephew, who was released after four years imprisonment after the Iraqi appeals court deemed him innocent, was then arrested 10 days after his release, again under Article 4. This law gives the government of Prime Minister Maliki broad license to detain Iraqis. Article four and other laws provide the government the ability to impose the death penalty for nearly 50 crimes, including terrorism, kidnapping, and murder, but also for offenses such as damage to public property.

While her nephew was free, he informed his aunt of how he and other detainees were tortured.

"They made some other inmates stand barefoot during Iraq's summer on burning concrete pavement to have sunburn, and without drinking water until they fainted. They took some of them, broke so many of their bones, mutilated their faces with a knife and threw them back in the cell to let the others know that this is what will happen to them."

She said her nephew was tortured daily, as he wouldn't confess to a crime he says he didn't commit. He wouldn't give names of his co-conspirators, as there were none, she said.

"Finally, after the death of many of his inmates under torture, he agreed to sign up a false confession written by the interrogators, even though he had witnesses who have seen him in another place the day that crime has happened," she added.

He remains in prison, where he has told his aunt he is now being tortured by militiamen and one of his eyes has been lanced by them.

Yousef Abdul Rahman has an equally shocking story, from being detained in 2011 and spending four months in "the worst of prisons".

"I was kept in a Maliki prison, where they dumped cold water on me and used electricity on me," he told Al Jazeera. "Many of the prisoners with me were raped. They were raped with sticks and bottles. I saw the blood on their bodies, and I saw so many men this happened to."

In today's Iraq, it is unfortunately all too easy to find Iraqis who have had loved ones who have been detained and tortured, and the trend is increasing, according to Iraqis Al Jazeera spoke with, along with several human rights groups.

'This was really harmful to me'

Ahmed Hassan, a 43-year-old taxi driver, was detained by Iraqi police at his home in the Adhamiyah district of Baghdad in December 2008. He was charged with "terrorism", and held in a federal police prison in nearby Khadimiyah.

Hassan told Al Jazeera the prison was run by the Ministry of Interior, but alleged it was overseen by Prime Minister al-Maliki himself.

He said he was regularly tortured and held in a six-by-four metre cell with "at least 120 detainees, with a small toilet that has no door, and scarce running water".

Prisoners received one meal a day that was often undercooked. And it was so crowded that "most of us would be forced to sleep standing", he said.

Hassan explained that his jailors had "various techniques of torture".

Iraqis held in what are now commonly referred to as "Maliki's jails" are telling horror stories of torture techniques used, including beatings, hangings, and electricity. [GALLO/GETTY]

"They forced me to drink huge amounts of water and then would tie up the head of my penis so I could not urinate. This was really harmful to me," said Hassan.

Another method was to "take off my fingernails with a pair of pliers, one by one."

This was an attempt to elicit confessions for crimes he said he never committed.

Hassan said he was also hung upside down from his feet with his head placed in a bucket of water while he was whipped with plastic rods.

Stories of detentions and torture and executions are everywhere in today's Iraq.

Sheikh Khaled Hamoud Al-Jumaili, a leader of the ongoing demonstrations in Fallujah against the Maliki government, told Al Jazeera there that "thousands of Fallujans have been detained and we don't know how many are now dead or on death row."

"The fighting from 2004 has never stopped," he added. "We simply switched from fighting the Americans to fighting Maliki and his injustice and corruption."

Another Fallujah sheikh, who asked to speak on condition of anonymity, told Al Jazeera he was detained and tortured by "Maliki's forces" in 2012.

"I was taken to the Khadamiyah prison [in Baghdad] and tortured there," he said while pulling up his shirt to reveal dark puncture wounds across his back. "I was beaten with sticks, punched, starved, spit upon, and hung by my ankles and then wrists. Maliki is even worse than the Americans."

Iraq currently has one of the highest rates of death sentences in the world, and Sunnis say they are suffering disproportionately from the killings.

Stories like those from Jassim and Hassan are exactly the kind referenced in the recent Amnesty International report.

"Torture is rife and committed with impunity by government security forces, particularly against detainees arrested under anti-terrorism while they are held incommunicado for interrogation," the report states.

"Detainees have alleged that they were tortured to force them to 'confess' to serious crimes or to incriminate others while held in these conditions. Many have repudiated their confessions at trial only to see the courts admit them as evidence of their guilt, without investigating their torture allegations, sentencing them to long term imprisonment or death."

Executions and International Condemnation

Saadiya Naif, 60, has had three of her sons executed – two by American forces during the occupation, and one in 2008 by Iraqis.

"Baker was arrested by Iraqi police and held for one and a half years," she told Al Jazeera, while weeping. "He was only 19 when they executed him. I tried to use lawyers to get him out of prison, but all three of them received death threats. Then, after one and a half years in prison, he phoned me to say goodbye, because he was to be executed the next day."

According to international human rights groups, at least 3,000 Iraqis received death sentences since 2005, which was the year capital punishment was reinstated after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

At least 447 prisoners have been executed since 2005, and hundreds of prisoners wait on death row. In addition, 129 prisoners were hanged in 2012.

The government of Prime Minister Maliki has been strongly criticised by both the UN and several other human rights groups for the number of executions being carried out.

Christof Heyns, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said last year he was alarmed by reports of individuals who remain at risk of execution. "I am appalled about the level of executions in Iraq. I deeply deplore the executions carried out."

The surge in state-sanctioned killings has also drawn sharp criticism from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, who called it "a sharp increase from previous years".

"Given the lack of transparency in court proceedings, and the very wide range of offences for which the death penalty can be imposed in Iraq, this is truly a shocking figure," Pillay said.

Human Rights Watch's deputy Middle East director, Joe Stork, said Iraq "has a huge problem with torture and unfair trials".

Lisa Hajjar is a professor of sociology at University of California Santa Barbara and a visiting professor at American University Beirut. Her work focuses on torture and detention issues in the context of war.

She said the situation in Iraq is common in ongoing civil wars, with the regime in power attempting to eliminate opponents from the past. Hajjar described the executions and torture as "intentional state terror".

"I call it terroristic torture," Hajjar told Al Jazeera. "When people are tortured or there are extrajudicial executions, the purpose is to dissuade others. The goal is to create a visible spectacle, and the purpose is to terrorise communities into quiescence."

In response to this kind of international criticism, Iraq's Justice Ministry said torture might happen in isolated incidents, and the media exaggerates it.

"The international community has not been fair with the Iraqi people," Justice Ministry spokesman Haider al-Sadee recently told Al Jazeera. "When there is an explosion in America the whole world is rocked and countries are invaded as a result. But when Iraq defends its rights and executes a person after convicting him of a crime, international organisations condemn it."

"Speaking as an Iraqi citizen," he added. "I believe the least that should be done to show justice to the families of victims is to execute them publicly."

This cavalier attitude, along with increasing rates of detentions, reports of ongoing torture, and increasing executions, have factored largely into why predominantly Sunni areas of Iraq, like Baghdad's Al-Adhamiyah neighbourhood and much of Al-Anbar province, are holding regular demonstrations against Maliki's government.

Protests

Every Friday in Fallujah, for three months now, hundreds of thousands have demonstrated and prayed on the main highway linking Baghdad and Amman, which runs just past the outskirts of that city.

People in Fallujah, and the rest of Iraq's vast Anbar province, are enraged at the government of Prime Minister Maliki. They say his security forces, heavily populated by members of various Shia militias, have been killing and detaining Sunnis in Anbar Province, as well as across much of Baghdad.

Sheikh Khaled Hamoud Al-Jumaili, a leader of recent demonstrations, made it clear to Al Jazeera why the protests have been ongoing.

Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is currently being accused of "being worse than the Americans" by people in Fallujah, or told Al Jazeera of ongoing detentions and executions being carried out by the Maliki government [GALLO/GETTY]

"We demand an end to checkpoints surrounding Fallujah, we demand they allow in the press, we demand they end their unlawful home raids and detentions, we demand an end to federalism and gangsters and secret prisons," he told Al Jazeera inside a tent just prior to recent Friday demonstrations.

Sheikh Jumaili went on to tell Al Jazeera that the millions of people in Anbar province had withdrawn all their demands on the Maliki government, because none of them had been met.

"Now we demand a change in the regime and a change in the constitution," he said. "We will not stop these demonstrations."

The Sheikh was then asked what would happen if the Maliki government did not listen to the demands of the protestors.

"Maybe armed struggle comes next," he replied.

While there is no way of linking the events, on March 14 Iraq's Ministry of Justice was attacked by at least one car bomb and a suicide bomber, as part of a series of coordinated attacks that rocked Baghdad, killing 24 and injuring at least 50 others.

Meanwhile, protests against the Maliki government's ongoing use of detentions, torture, and executions continue in Sunni areas around Iraq, with no sign of abatement.

Ongoing Condemnation

"Death sentences and executions are being used on a horrendous scale," Amnesty International's Hadj Sahraoui said in the group's recent report. "It is particularly abhorrent that many prisoners have been sentenced to death after unfair trials and on the basis of confessions they say they were forced to make under torture."

"It is high time that the Iraqi authorities end this appalling cycle of abuse and declare a moratorium on executions as a first step towards abolishing the death penalty for all crimes," he added.

Human Rights Watch's Erin Evers, a Middle East Researcher working on Iraq, said she has received a wide range of figures from various sources as to the number of actual detainees.

"Iraq's Ministry of Justice claims 30,000 people in Ministry of Justice and Interior Ministry detention facilities, but there are a lot contradictions from the government," Evers told Al Jazeera. "I've had another source put the number at 50,000. The fact that the number varies so widely and that information on where and how people are detained is not widely available points to a larger problem."

A point made to Al Jazeera by many Iraqis is this: perhaps the Maliki government does not need secret prisons anymore, because it instead has "secret prisoners."

What is meant by this is that since the Iraqi security apparatus is not operating by the rule of law by carrying out arbitrary detentions and no due process, it is thus easy enough to detain people and hold them in normal facilities without having any record of them.

In this way it is possible for the government to interrogate ordinary Iraqis using any method it chooses, because the families and friends of the detainees have no idea where the detainee is, or how long they will be kept there.

Human Rights Watch told Al Jazeera the problem in Iraq today is "secret prisoners" since so many Iraqis are being detained that are not being registered with the government [GALLO/GETTY]

Evers went on to point out that the fact that the Iraqi justice system is so opaque points to the route of the problem.

"Which is that these institutions are failing, and it is a misnomer to call it a justice system as it's certainly not actually meting out justice," she said.

Amnesty International's report is based on information gathered from multiple sources, including interviews with detainees, victims' families, refugees, lawyers, human rights activists and others, plus reviews of court papers and other official documents.

Amnesty International sent its latest findings to the Iraqi government in December 2012 but has yet to receive any response.

"The real tragedy here is that not only are ordinary Iraqis suffering from ongoing terrorist attacks, but from the fact that the institutions that are supposed to protect them are instead targeting them," Evers concluded. "By invoking ordinary Iraqis' suffering from ongoing terrorist attacks and instability, the government implies that somehow it's OK to violate people's human rights under the guise of protecting them, and clearly even this not working."

Towards the Globalization of CIA Torture and Rendition

cia

by Jeff Lincoln

A report released in early February by the Open Society Justice Initiative titled “Globalizing Torture: CIA Secret Detention and Extraordinary Rendition” establishes that the Central Intelligence Agency, acting under the direction of the highest levels of the US government, has utilized a global network of secret prisons, foreign intelligence agents, and interrogation and torture centers to send detainees to without any legal protections.

This arrangement is worldwide and includes the involvement of at least 54 different countries touching almost every continent.

There is enormous diversity among the countries involved. They include Middle Eastern countries such as Egypt, Pakistan, Syria and Jordan, which carried out the torture on suspects that the CIA rendered to them. Poland, Lithuania, Romania and Thailand hosted secret prisons operated by the CIA where detainees could be held clandestinely and have interrogations or torture conducted directly by American intelligence operatives.

European nations such as Macedonia, Georgia, and Sweden detained and delivered suspects to the CIA to be tortured. Larger countries such as Britain or Germany conducted some of the interrogations themselves while smaller countries such as Iceland, Denmark, Belgium, or Greece provided intelligence, logistical support, use of airspace, etc.

On the whole, the report stands as an indictment against all of Washington’s allies and client states in its self-proclaimed “war on terror.”

The Australian government stands implicated in the rendition of Mamdouh Habib, an Australian national, to Egypt where he was tortured and then later transferred to Guantanamo Bay where he was detained until he was released without charge in 2005.

Egypt stands as the country that has interrogated, tortured and abused the most people subject to extraordinary rendition. The relationship between the US and Egypt dates back to the Clinton administration that used the country almost exclusively for its rendition program, which was dramatically ramped up after September 11, 2001.

Italy’s secret services played a role in the abduction of Abu Omar, an Egyptian cleric who was previously given asylum in Italy but was abducted in Milan in 2003; he was then placed on a flight to Egypt. Italian authorities authorized some 46 stopovers by CIA operated aircraft at Italian airports.

The United Kingdom, the country that enjoys the closest relationship with US imperialism, has extensive involvement with America’s rendition program. In addition to providing airspace, MI6 and other British intelligence worked hand in glove with the CIA to abduct and interrogate suspects. Omar Deghayes, a Libyan national but a British resident was arrested in 2002 and transported by US and British intelligence agents to Bagram, where he was subjected to abuse. After interrogation by MI5 agents, he was sent to Guantanamo where he underwent further physical abuse, suffering a broken finger, a broken nose, and damage to his right eye.

In 2004, the British government arranged to have a former member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, Sami al-Saadi, rendered into Libyan custody by approaching him in China and convincing him to fly to the British embassy in Hong Kong where he would be allowed to return to the UK. Instead, his whole family was taken into custody in Hong Kong and flown over to Libya where Mr. al-Saadi remained for six years and was subjected to torture by physical beatings and electric shocks.

While the report sheds some light on what countries are involved, the numbers of individuals subjected to rendition remains unknown. By 2005, it is estimated that about 150 persons were rendered to foreign countries according to admissions made by then-president George W. Bush. The real number is likely much higher, as Egypt alone has had to acknowledge that it received sixty to seventy terror suspects since September 11, 2001. Human Rights Watch has attempted to compile a list of persons who have been held in CIA prisons, and they have identified almost forty people who have either gone missing or whose whereabouts are unknown.

There are dozens more countries detailed in the report than just the ones mentioned above. Still, the report is extremely limited in scope in that it does not document transfers or detentions by any agency other than the CIA. It does not include the detention practices of the Defense Department, for example, and its notorious facilities in Guantanamo Bay or Afghanistan. Moreover, what is known is only based on the experiences of 139 individuals who have been released from custody. Nevertheless, it is now clear that the US government has been running a detention and “enhanced interrogation” operation with tentacles that span the globe.

It appears likely that the United States intentionally sought out the widespread involvement of so many countries to ensure that those who might later nominally reject these practices would themselves be so implicated that they would be unwilling to publicly expose the details of Washington’s dirty deeds.

Indeed, none of the countries mentioned in the report, save one, has even admitted any culpability for their participation in gross human rights violations. The lone exception is Canada, which assisted in the rendition of Canadian citizen Maher Arar in 2002 to Syria where he was tortured. A hastily conducted commission placed blame on the Royal Mounted Police but absolved those higher up in government of any responsibility. Other nations, such as Britain, Sweden and Australia have quietly settled lawsuits alleging their participation but have made no admission of liability.

As a matter of fact, far from acknowledging their complicity in abduction, rendition, and torture, many of the countries in the report were publicly denouncing these practices by the US government at the same time they were secretly abetting them.

A number of liberal and human rights organizations have reacted to the revelations in the Open Society Justice Initiative report by calling for and supporting the efforts of international tribunals to hear cases brought against officials of some of the countries complicit in assisting in the rendition of persons by the US Government.

While there are some actions pending in the European Court of Human Rights and other high courts against some of the countries named in the report for their role in assisting in rendition, the cases will have no impact on the operations of the CIA.

Setting aside the obvious fact that cases can only be brought by individuals whom the CIA has already decided to release, the outcome of these actions hinge on the narrow issue of the extent to which the participating countries knew or should have known torture was likely to occur. This glosses over the more fundamental issue that, unlike extradition, extraordinary rendition is, by definition, a transfer without legal process. In fact, the whole CIA program is designed to place detainee interrogations completely beyond the reach of law. Moreover, the US government has refused to recognize the jurisdiction of international courts of human rights.

President Barack Obama for his part, despite making claims of reversing the Bush-era CIA policies, has further escalated the crimes committed by his predecessor.

In January 2009, Obama issued a series of executive orders that purported to close down then existing CIA detention facilities and also created a task force to examine rendition practices and make recommendations to ensure humane treatment. These orders were nothing more than a sham to conceal the fact that, rather than restricting the ability of the CIA to conduct extraordinary renditions, the orders were purposely crafted to preserve it.

While Obama has ordered the CIA to shut down certain detention facilities, the directive specifically exempts facilities designed to hold people on a temporary or transitory basis. In other words, the executive order essentially codifies the CIA’s authority to detain suspects and then to render them to other countries to face interrogation, trial, or worse. Furthermore, if the CIA wanted the detainees to remain in the custody of the United States, they could be sent to a facility operated by the Department of Defense or kept offshore on a Navy vessel.

The task force created by Obama’s order functions merely as a fig leaf for the continuation of Bush-era policies. The report, which was completed in 2009, has not been made public and is not binding on any agency. However, as an example of its toothlessness, a Justice Department press release disclosed that one of the recommended safeguards was relying on assurances from the receiving country that the detainees would be treated humanely.

The Justice Department under Obama appointee Eric Holder has closed inquiries into the treatment of over 100 detainees who were in CIA custody overseas, including several who died while in custody, stating that no criminal charges would be pursued.

Pope Francis Accused by Family and Friends of Tortured Priests

Jorge Mario Bergoglio known for his opposition to progressive governments and clerics, is accused of silence, cooperation with Argentinean dictatorship.

Pope Francis accused by family and friends of tortured priests


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Bio

Oscar León is an experienced international press correspondent and documentary filmmaker based in Arizona. His work has reached continental TV broadcast in many occasions on Telesur, ECTV, Ecuavisa, Radio Canada, Canal Uno and even Fox Sports Latin America and El Garaje TV; he has been a TRNN correspondent since 2010. Oscar has reported from as many as 9 countries and more than 12 cities in US; his coverage includes TV reports, special reports and TV specials, not only covering social movements, politics and economics but environmental issues, culture and sports as well. This includes the series "Reportero del Sur", "Occupy USA - El Otoño Americano", "Habia una vez en Arizona", "Motor X" all TV mini series broadcasted to all Americas and "Once upon a time in Arizona" finalist in Radio Canada's "Migration" 2010 contest.

Transcript

OSCAR LEON, PRODUCER, TRNN: Pope Francis I assumes the rule of the Catholic Church, an institution with undisclosed net worth as well as an enormous influence over a number of Roman Catholics. The congregation that was estimated in about 1.2 billion people at the end of 2010.In Argentina outside the cathedral in Buenos Aires, many people expressed their joy and pride for the first Latin American Pope.Fernando Cibeira, a journalist from Argentina's newspaper Pagina 12.FERNANDO CIBEIRA, JOURNALIST, PAGINA 12 (TRANSL.): This first signs he gave of austerity, of not using golden in the papal robes, of avoiding the limousine and ride in the bus along with many other cardinals are in deed Bergoglio's own. Here in Buenos Aires he uses public transportation. He really kind of does a show of his austerity, which is kind of contradictory, but he really goes to lengths to show that side of him. Over the last years there has been many press reports talking about him riding the subway and public buses like everybody else.LEON: Jorge Mario Bergoglio's record shows a grave stain. According to many, he did knew about the kidnapping and torture of thousands of people under Argentina's military rule from 1976 to 1983. He actually declared as a witness on two judicial causes against military torturers.Estela de la Cuadra was a former chairman of the Abuelas de la Plaza de Mayo, a human rights NGO, the Grandmas From the Mayo Plaza, sadly known to be the mothers and relatives of the tortured and murdered family members.Estela says there is legal proof in a court case of appropriation of children born in torture cells, that Cardinal Bergoglio did knew about the disappearance of thousands of people as it was happening in 1977. She testified in that case.ESTELA DE LA CUADRA (TRANSL.): The Church as an institution participated actively in many aspects in times of dictatorship, even consulting, calming, and counseling those agents who participated on the "flights of the death" when they threw people alive into the sea. So the Church was part of it. Even now in many judicial process against the torturers, the role of the Church is being investigated.Two priests, Orlando Yorio and Francsco Jalics, former Jesuits, were kidnapped and tortured after being expelled from the order by Bergoglio, then local head of the Jesuits. They were allegedly branded "subversive" because of their work in poor neighborhoods.GRACIELA YORIO, SISTER OF ORLANDO YORIO (TRANSL.): My brother was kidnapped along with Francisco Jalics on May 23, 1976. He was then a Jesuit working on a very poor settlement--we call those emergency villas. His regional leader, who is now the Pope, had authorized that work. At some point after the work was underway, Bergoglio tells them to stop working, because dictatorship was approaching and any work with the poor was seen as "subversive."He expels them from the congregation, asking them to leave, and suggest them to go to other congregations to find shelter and maybe work as priests there. At the same time, he writes bad reports about them and he sends them to the bishops.So while he tells my brother and Francisco Jalics to go look for shelter at those convents, he ask the bishops not to receive them. That is why we say (Bergoglio) did not protect them.It was precisely at that time that they were kidnapped by the armed forces. They are then taken to the Army School of Mechanics, a place of torture, kidnap, and death. There they were interrogated, naked, with their heads covered and chained all the time.LEON: Orlando Yorio died claiming that Jorge Mario Bergoglio not only had left them unprotected, but he directly signal them to be taken. However, it has not been proved that Bergoglio sent the military to take Orlando Yorio as the priest died claiming. This fact was not uncommon, as it has been proved that schools, university, public and private corporations, they gave list of people deemed to be leftist and undesirable to the military.YORIO: As far as we have documented, the new pope was not new to this situation. He collaborated with the dictatorship. He not only left my brother and Francisco Jalics unprotected, but he did spread rumors of them being subversives or guerrilla members.There are documents to prove it. Journalist Horacio Vervistky made an extensive investigation. He found documents at the Department of State, were Bergoglio ask that authority to deny a passport to Francisco Jalics, who by then was a refugee in U.S.A.LEON: Francisco Jalics, who underwent this Calvary with Orlando Yorio, lives now in Germany and recently said in a statement that he had forgiven Father Bergoglio and reconciled with him. He says that he consider this matter to be closed.Father Eduardo De la Serna, pastor of Jesus the Good Shepherd Parish in Quilmes, Buenos Aires, Argentina, knew personally both Orlando Yorio and Jorge Mario Bergoglio back in those days.FATHER EDUARDO DE LA SERNA, PASTOR, JESUS THE GOOD SHEPHERD PARISH, QUILMES, ARGENTINA (TRANSL.TION): I lived with Orlando Yorio more than a year in parish. I knew him very well. we were not close friends, but we had shared quite a lot of time, even on theological events we have attended, me from a more biblical perspective, him from a theoretical one--he was accomplished in theology.Graciela Yorio's version is exactly what Orlando told us from day one, is not an exaggeration--those are Orlando's exact words. Orlando was naive to believe that the Church was changing for good (after the return to democracy). I personally believe that not only he was devastated when Bergoglio was pronounced Buenos Aires' bishop, but he completely fell apart. He sank. He left the country. He went to Uruguay, where after three years he died of a heart attack. His heart couldn't take it any longer.I understand anyone that tells me: I got frightened, I got scared, I didn't know, I was afraid to act. I understand that as long as they are telling me that straightforward. If they tell me, I understand I should have done otherwise but I was scared, I can understand that.The problem is when you stood silent and then it looks like you act appropriately.LEON: Forty-four accused tormenters of 471 people in a case of tortures at La Perla complex wore badges with the Vatican colors to celebrate Bergoglio's appointment, spreading rumors and causing reactions on the families of the victims.The Vatican quickly released an statement to respond at the accusations made against Jorge Mario Bergoglio for its alleged ties to the military regime, branding these arguments as "defamations of anticlerical leftist" and as "not credible ones". Reverend Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said, "there have been many declarations of how much he did for many people to protect them from the military dictatorship."The support for Jorge Mario Bergoglio is broad in Argentina, but not always free of criticism. Fernando Pino Solanas, a progressive congressman and film director, described Pope Francis as a man of "enormous fairness and wisdom", while Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Nobel Price for Peace, declared that: "Bergoglio was not part of the crimes, but he did not had the courage to fight with us."The influence of the pope is not merely spiritual. The Catholic Church was one of, if not the first, transnational corporation. It has an autonomic state--the Vatican--inside Rome, but independent from Italy, and it has diplomatic relations with 177 countries, from many of which it receives money, this according to the Concordatos Treaties with those countries.It would pretty much take a statesman to run such transnational organization. Father De la Serna believes Pope Francis I is prepared to deal with the organizational aspect and the power struggle known to take place at the Vatican.DE LA SERNA: In that aspect I have hope in others not so much, but in that one I have hope, this because Bergoglio knows how to handle power. This can be proven by the facts that he was elected fairly fast when he was not a favorite in the Vatican experts' forecast.Because Bergoglio thrives in power, I really doubt that the Roman Curia can step all over him like they did to Pope Benedict XVI. In that regard, the former pope proved to have no skill whatsoever to handle power, no executive skills.So I think Bergoglio is going to handle the power much better, and to the eyes of society and the Christian community he may also show a more humble and austere side of the Church.LEON: As far as Pope Francis's position torwards the theology of liberation, which calls for the need for social equality, Father de la Serna says Jorge Mario Bergoglio is not friend of such line of thought.DE LA SERNA: I don't think he is a close friend or is any friend at all of the Theology of Liberation. I don't know if he is an enemy of it, which is very different. I mean, he has attitudes close to the poor, but I dint think it's a liberate them attitude.We are still to see if he has words of criticism towards the causes of poverty, which is what the Theology of liberation does, meaning not only to be with the poor, but to bring them down from the cross.Around 1974, '75, '76, many Jesuits and other kinds of priest started abandoning the great congregations to go live in the poor neighborhoods called "misery villas", Bergoglio was adamantly opposed to that. He became the main detractor of that movement of priests.That denoted issues related to his close relationship with the dictatorship. Following that trend he latter became close to the right wing of the Peronist political movement and a group called Iron Guard.LEON: Fernando Cibeira also believes that Jorge Mario Bergoglio has a political side and he has actually been a player on the last years of Argentinean politics.CIBEIRA: Bergoglio is regarded from the government as an opposition leader. He regularly meets rather in secret with opposition leaders. Every now and then you hear strong declarations by him, which is why the government consider Bergoglio an opposition leader.LEON: Father De la Serna agrees and expands that argument even further, suggesting that in many countries the Church seems to favor the non-socialist administrations.DE LA SERNA: As regrettably has happen in Latin America with progressive administrations, the leader of the opposition seems to be some bishop, as it has happen with Guayaquil's Bishop in Ecuador, Caracas in Venezuela, Santa Cruz's in Bolivia, and Buenos Aires' in Argentina.One wonders why there are not bishops in the opposition with Uribe or Santos in Colombia or Pineira in Chile or Alan Garcia (former Peru president).LEON: Fernando Cibeira believes Bergoglio's fierce opposition to same sex marriage as was approved on 2011 by the Argentinean state was the inflection point between the Argentinean Church and Cristina Kirchner's administration.CIBEIRA: He's had some very harsh pronouncements against projects that the government was pushing for, especially the one about equal marriage rights to same-sex couples, which was one of the administration central projects, and to which Bergoglio was its main opposition leader--he called it "the devil's project" and such. That was the point of no return between Bergoglio and the government.LEON: President Cristina Kirchner, however, congratulated Pope Francis I and is scheduled to attend the ceremony of installation at the Vatican.Now with the ceremony of installation just days away, Latin America is watching to see if Pope Francis will use his new position to oppose the progressive governments and liberation theology clerics.For The Real News, this is Oscar Leon.

End

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Why Is the U.S. Funding International Drug Rehabs Known for Torture and Abuse?

Despite calls to close the centers, the U.S. government continues to fund them.

Photo Credit: (c) RDaniel/Shutterstock.com

March 14, 2013  |  

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The United States is not just funding an abusive drug war at home; taxpayer funds are propping up violently oppressive "drug treatment" centers that act more like detainment camps abroad. At the U.S.-backed Somsanga Rehabilitation Center in Laos, detainees are subjected to shocking physical abuse, including beating to the point of unconsciousness for showing withdrawal symptoms or attempting to escape. Allegations of sexual assault are also rampant.

According to reports, younger residents are raped by older detainees whom the center gives power to enforce rules and regulations. One Somsanga detainee interviewed by Human Rights Watch said he saw "supervisors rape boys between the ages of 10 and 14." Children are not exempt from indefinite detainment in these camps. UNICEF-sponsored investigations in Laos found 150 detainees under 18 in 2003, and more than 600 children in 2006.

Despite calls from human rights organizations, the United States has continued to pump money into the Somsanga Rehabilitation Center.

In March of last year, 12 United Nations agencies, including the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the World Health Organization, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and UNAIDS, issued a  joint statement calling for the closure of drug-user detention centers where they identified grave human rights violations. Abused patients, perhaps better described as inmates, should be released "without delay," the report urged. Nonetheless, a new report from UN's special expert on torture, Juan Mendez, explains that many nations, including the US, continue to send hundreds of thousands of dollars to "rehabilitation" centers that act as hubs for indefinitely holding and systematically abusing marginalized people.  

 "These centers continue to operate often with direct or indirect support and assistance from international donors without any adequate human rights oversight," the UN report says. Detainment in punitive drug-free centers still "exponentially" exceeds evidence-based treatment for drug dependence, Mendez said.

Mendez notes that "numerous calls by various international and regional organizations to close compulsory drug detention centers" --  as well as several recommendations and resolutions from WHO, UNODC, and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs -- "are routinely ignored." 

This June, the U.S. agreed to donate an additional $400,000 to the Somsanga center. US officials heeded no warnings issued by at least three separate reports (2003 UNICEF report, 2004 WHO report, and 2011 Human Rights Watch report), each of which warned against the center's deplorable conditions and inhumane treatment of detainees. The UN report says past US funds have been used to build dormitories "to expand the capacity of the government to detain drug users, street children, and ethnic minorities," as well as fences surrounding the center.

“International donors claim that Somsanga is a legitimate drug treatment center,” Joe Amon, director of health and human rights at Human Rights Watch, said in a press release prompted by the UN report. “The reality is that people, including children and the homeless, are held in Somsanga against their will, behind barbed wire fences, and are beaten and brutalized.”   

Inside Somsanga

Human Rights Watch says that while only a minority of amphetamine-users (the most popular drug in Laos) actually become addicted, legislators pressure local officials to declare their villages “drug-free.” Eager to comply with public policy, village officials and locals request for detainment in Somsanga people who use drugs only occasionally and do not necessarily require rehabilitation. 

Located in Laos near the capital of Vientiane, Somsanga’s patients did not voluntarily commit to drug addiction rehabilitation, nor is there always evidence that they are drug addicts. Rather, Somsanga detainees are picked up by police or sent away by relatives bowing to pressure to cleanse their villages of drug users. The result is not more addicts in drug treatment, but the detainment of "beggars, homeless people, street children, and people with mental disabilities" without due cause. One detainee cited in the report says an arrest for being out too late landed him in Somsanga for nine months. 

5 officers acquitted in Bahrain torture death case, 2 found guilty in separate murder

Published time: March 12, 2013 16:04

Shiite Bahraini protestors clash with security forces following a protest to mark the second anniversary of an uprising in the Sunni-ruled kingdom of Bahrain, on February 14, 2013 in the village of Sanabis, West of the capital Manama (AFP Photo)

Two Bahraini police officers were sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of torturing a Shiite protester to death. Three others were acquitted for “failing to report the crime,” a judicial source said.

The two policemen were convicted of "torturing to death Ali al-Saqr,” who was arrested during the February 2011 uprising, the source told AFP.

Saqr died on April 9, 2011, from “hypovolemic shock resulting from several traumas,” according to a report by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Investigation (BICI), an international panel that investigated the events that unfolded during March and April of that year.

All five officers were found not guilty for the murder of another protester, Zakeriya Asheeri, who also died in 2011 while in detention.

“For the 4th time in 3 months a police officer [is] acquitted for killing a civilian. #bahrain culture of impunity," Said Yousif Almuhafda, the head of the monitoring section at the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

Several other officers are currently being investigated or standing trial on allegations of torture after hundreds of demonstrators were detained following a crackdown on the protest movement in mid-March 2011.

In late January, a court sentenced a police officer to seven years in prison for torturing a protester to death.

Complicity in torture expands beyond rank-and-file police officers, as Bahraini Princess Nora Bint Ebrahim Khalifa also appeared in court over torture allegations in January. Princess Nora, who serves in Bahrain’s Drugs Control Unit, allegedly collaborated with another officer in the torture of three activists who had been taken into custody.

Two of the Bahraini King’s sons – Nasser Bin Hammad Khalifa and Khalid Bin Hammad Khalifa – as well as one other member of the royal family, Khalifa Bin Ahmed Khalifa, were also accused of directly taking part in torturing activists in the country, a 55-page report titled ‘Citizens in the Grip of Torture’ charged.

Authorities in the kingdom have said they are implementing the recommendations of an independent commission of inquiry appointed by the king, which confirmed the use of excessive force by security forces during the uprising.

Bahrain – home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet – is ruled by a Sunni monarchy, while over 75 percent of the population is Shia.

On February 14, 2011, thousands of protesters took to the streets of the capital Manama, demanding democratic reforms and the resignation of Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman Khalifa, the longest-serving prime minister in the world.

Since the start of the uprising, opposition activists say at least 88 protesters have been killed, including nine children.

Civilian Torture And Human Rights Abuse Rife In Iraq

A new report released today has found that 10 years after the US-led invasion, Iraq remains “enmeshed in a grim cycle of human rights abuses, including attacks on civilians, torture of detainees and unfair trials.”

Pentagon Implicated In Iraq Torture Units

The investigation conducted by The Guardian and BBC Arabic, was sparked by the release of classified US military logs on WikiLeaks that detailed hundreds of incidents where US soldiers came across tortured detainees in a network of detention centres.

UK inquiry into Iraqi prisoner deaths reveals evidence of ‘torture’

Published time: March 05, 2013 00:59

A public inquiry into allegations that British soldiers in Iraq murdered 20 unarmed prisoners and tortured 5 others has begun in London, with further legal arguments expected to slow the inquiry in the deaths of the Iraqi men nine years ago.

The Al-Sweady inquiry will examine claims that Iraqi prisoners were tortured by British soldiers following the Battle of Danny Boy in Maysan province, southern Iraq in the summer of 2004.

Evidence has also come to light that several of the corpses suffered severe mutilation. Iraqi death certificates recorded that one man had allegedly had his penis removed while another two bodies were missing eyes.

Several of the corpses were also said to have signs of torture when they were handed back to their families by British personnel at Camp Abu Naji. 

However, there is major dispute between the British Ministry of Defense (MoD) and the families of the dead Iraqi men over the way in which the deaths occurred.

“The Iraqi witnesses say that the evidence points to there having been a number of Iraqi men having been taken into camp Abu Naji alive by the British military on 14th May, and who were handed back to their families dead the next day,” said Jonathan Acton Davis QC, counsel to the inquiry.

“The military say the evidence points to 20 Iraqi dead having been recovered from the battle and handed back to their families the next day,” he added, continuing that the two sides couldn’t even agree about the number of those killed or captured, or their identities.

On May 14th 2004, the troops embroiled in the allegations were involved in a fierce battle known as Danny Boy, the name of a permanent vehicle check point, which was on route six in Iraq. 

A group of insurgents launched an attack against vehicles of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. It soon developed into a fierce firefight, which also involved soldiers from the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment, with many Iraqis shot dead and two British soldiers being wounded.

The Iraqi dead would normally have been left on the battlefield but British soldiers were allegedly told to try and identify an insurgent thought to be involved in the murder of 6 British soldiers a year earlier in 2003.

One of the first jobs of the inquiry is to try and establish whether the 20 Iraqis were killed in battle as the MoD claims or if in fact they were captured alive and then unlawfully killed.

The inquiry will also try to determine if five men taken prisoner following the battle of Danny Boy were mistreated at a second British base in Shaibah, near Basara, between 14 May and 23 September 2004.

The al-Sweady inquiry as it is known is named after Hamid al-Sweady, a 19 year old alleged victim.

The inquiry was set up after former prisoners and relatives of the dead men took their case to the High Court in London in February 2008. They are entitled to an independent inquiry because the UK is a signatory of the European convention on human rights.

But even as the enquiry opened on Monday, there were signs of legal disagreements to come. Lawyers for the relatives of the dead Iraqis are saying that its terms of reference are too narrow, while the MoD is arguing that it should be limited to allegations of mistreatment that were already decided in previous High Court rulings.

This is potentially the most embarrassing inquiry since the killing of 26-year-old Iraqi citizen Baha Mousa while in British custody in Basara in 2003. He was severely beaten on suspicion of being an insurgent. The Ministry of Defense never accepted any liability for Mousa's death.

According to Christpher Stanley of the UK-based Rights Watch group, "today [the MoD] is trying to manage it and put a cap on it. These are people getting away with grave human rights violations – including killing – without punishment or due process of law. “

So far the MoD has not come out well in the proceedings. The inquiry was ordered by then defense secretary Bob Ainsworth, after high court judges found that the MoD had made “serious breaches” of its duty.

Furthermore, British Foreign Minister William Hague has written a private memo to other ministers on March 1, urging them not to discuss Iraq and its legality in the run-up to the tenth anniversary of the NATO-led invasion.

Investigators have faced problems trying to access MoD documents concerning events covering the battle of Danny Boy and at Camp Abu Naj.

In 2010 investigators found in files of the Royal Military Police  a number of relevant papers which had been entirely absent from evidence disclosed by the MoD in previous court proceedings. While another 9 files were handed over by the MoD in 2011, a six week search by investigators of MoD archives found 600 documents that were relevant to the case.

Last week the inquiry was still waiting to receive emails from the MoD about a visit to the Shaibah base by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The inquiry has already cost the taxpayer £15 million and that is expected to double. Up to 200 military witnesses will be called and 45 Iraqis will give evidence through a video link from Beirut.