USA must now remedy what went wrong and act decisively on Senate torture report

The US Senate Intelligence Committee report makes it now clear beyond dispute that the USA repeatedly breached its obligations under the UN Convention against Torture, and therefore, it must now remedy what went wrong. The USA is obliged to properly investigate all the incidents of torture and to hold all those responsible to account, as well as to provide adequate justice and reparation for the victims.

According to the report released today, the torture techniques used were even worse than already acknowledged: they included prolonged sleep deprivation, forced “rectal feeding” or “rectal hydration”, as well as waterboarding on more prisoners than previously admitted. The torture took place under a programme carried out by CIA officials and contractors in secret prisons around the world as well as in Guantánamo Bay in the years after the 9/11 attacks.

In acknowledging the significance of the report, Sir Emyr Jones Parry, Chair of REDRESS, said: “We welcome the transparency represented by this Report. It shows the nature and extent of what happened, and underlines that even the staunchest of advocates for human rights can fail. Whatever the pressures, governments should not resort to illegal, unproductive, immoral behaviour. We wish there had been greater emphasis on the survivors of these torture practices and their legitimate rights to justice. It is also vital that a democracy like the USA should now come to terms with what was done in its name, and make every effort to stand by the principles and legal commitments which it advocates for others, and must equally apply in its own actions.”

REDRESS is encouraged by the perseverance of Senator Dianne Feinstein for this report and for its release. Now it is up to the USA administration to do as it must: investigate, prosecute, punish, and prevent this from ever happening again.

For further information please contact Eva Sanchis, REDRESS Communications Officer, on [email protected] or +44 20 7793 1777.

About REDRESS: REDRESS is an award-winning human rights organisation based in London which works internationally to combat torture by seeking justice and reparation for torture survivors. Since 1992, it has consistently fought for the rights of torture survivors and their families in the UK and abroad and has intervened in a range of leading torture cases.