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Worldwide Demands for Prosecutions after Release of the Torture Report

Dec. 10, 2014 (EIRNS)—The release of the redacted Torture Report by Sen. Diane Feinstein on Tuesday, has set off furious demands internationally for serious consequences for the crimes committed. A few examples:

  • UNITED NATIONS: Ben Emmerson, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counterterrorism, said in a statement, after welcoming publication of the Senate report:

"The individuals responsible for the criminal conspiracy revealed in today’s report must be brought to justice, and must face criminal penalties commensurate with the gravity of their crimes. The fact that the policies revealed in this report were authorised at a high level within the US Government provides no excuse whatsoever. Indeed, it reinforces the need for criminal accountability.

"International law prohibits the granting of immunities to public officials who have engaged in acts of torture. This applies not only to the actual perpetrators but also to those senior officials within the US Government who devised, planned and authorised these crimes....

"However, the heaviest penalties should be reserved for those most seriously implicated in the planning and purported authorisation of these crimes. Former Bush Administration officials who have admitted their involvement in the programme should also face criminal prosecution for their acts."

  • CHINA’S XINHUA, editor Wang Shang: Hypocrisy of US as Human Rights Police: — "The hegemony it has exercised, the inquisition by torture it has practised, and the profound racial inequalities all point to the sheer hypocrisy of the United States as a defender of human rights....

"The U.S. government loves to decorate itself as a vehement watchdog of human rights on the world stage. On too many occasions, U.S. troops, upholding their proud American flags, invaded countries which stood no chance against their cutting-edge weapons, just in order to shed ‘the light of civilization’ to every corner of the world. It does not even need a discerning eye to see through that camouflage and realize that hegemony, instead of defending human rights, is the U.S. operating code.

"The Guantanamo Bay has become notorious for human rights violations since 2004, but neither former President George W. Bush nor President Barrack Obama has done anything to change the situation. To simply look through the details of water boarding, deprivation of sleep and sexual abuses in the report can constitute a traumatizing experience."

Xinhua also notes that the Chinese press today is fully focused on the report, and that the Internet "has been abuzz with the news, with users of Chinese social media passionately debating the report’s content."

  • GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER STEINMEIER: The CIA actions amounted to "a gross violation of our liberal, democratic values" that must never happen again. "What was then considered right and done in the fight against Islamist terrorism was unacceptable and a serious mistake."

  • OTHER U.N. OFFICIALS CALL FOR PROSECUTION. Zeid Raad al-Hussein, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said it’s "crystal clear" under international law that the United States, which ratified the U.N. Convention Against Torture in 1994, now has an obligation to ensure accountability. "In all countries, if someone commits murder, they are prosecuted and jailed. If they commit rape or armed robbery, they are prosecuted and jailed. If they order, enable or commit torture recognized as a serious international crime — they cannot simply be granted immunity because of political expediency," he said.

  • U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON hopes the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s harsh interrogation techniques at secret overseas facilities is the "start of a process" toward prosecutions, because the "prohibition against torture is absolute," Ban’s spokesman said.