Torture matters

“On March 16, the US House of Representatives, in a stunning 420-to-2 vote, passed an amendment to the emergency Iraq supplemental appropriation by Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) forbidding the use of any funds that violate the legal obligations of the international Convention Against Torture, which this nation signed. Congressman Markey has led the charge against the CIA’s practice of sending terrorism suspects to countries cited by our own State Department for torturing their prisoners.”

“The media took little notice of this bipartisan move to try and end the administration’s outsourcing of torture – which President Bush continually says is not happening, despite mounting evidence from human rights organizations, freed tortured detainees, and journalists worldwide.”

This startling development, reported by Nat Hentoff in The Decatur Daily Democrat, has been ignored in Australia. Once again, we should demand whether Guantanamo Bay detainee, David Hicks, and recently released Mamdouh Habib, were sent by the US to countries in the Arab world to be tortured. Our government’s silence speaks for itself.

Write to Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and Attorney General Phillip Ruddock to demand answers.

UPDATE: The Washington Post reports: “A detainee at a U.S. military prison alleges that U.S. military guards jumped on his head until he had a stroke that paralysed his face, nearly drowned him in a toilet and later broke several of his fingers, according to a lawsuit filed yesterday in a US federal court.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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