United Nations Torture Panel Criticizes U.S. Practices

Geneva, December 1 (RHC)-- The United Nations Committee Against Torture has issued a report criticizing a wide range of U.S. practices. The panel’s "Concluding Observations" follow a series of hearings in Geneva last month.

On criminal justice, the report calls for several reforms including accountability for police brutality and for the targeting of people of color. On torture and imprisonment, the report criticizes the White House’s refusal to prosecute George W. Bush administration officials for torture and to provide redress to their victims. It also faults the United States for the indefinite imprisonment of foreign nationals at the Guantánamo prison at a U.S. naval base and calls for an end to force-feedings.

In addition, the UN torture panel calls on the Barack Obama administration to release the U.S. Senate report on CIA torture "in the most complete and comprehensible form possible." This comes as Senate Democrats have accused the White House of trying to censor key portions.

The Senate Intelligence Committee and administration officials have been in talks for months on releasing a summary of the 6,000-page report, which details the torture of foreign prisoners under the administration of George W. Bush. According to the New York Times, Senate Democrats say the White House has sided with the CIA in "trying to thwart negotiations over the report’s release."

In deference to CIA wishes, the White House "has blocked Democrats from informing the public as to how much torture went on in the previous administration, and how poorly it worked." The administration also wants to hide the pseudonyms of the CIA officers involved in torture, including some who received promotions.

Edited by Ivan Martínez


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