World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Rice Response on Treatment of Detainees Inadequate

U.S.: Rice Response Inadequate

The U.S. Secretary of State's statement yesterday about U.S. obligations under international law does not answer key outstanding questions about the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody, Human Rights Watch said today.

Speaking in Kiev yesterday, Secretary Condoleezza Rice said: “As a matter of U.S. policy, the United States obligations under the CAT [Convention against Torture], which prohibits, of course, cruel and inhumane and degrading treatment, those obligations extend to U.S. personnel wherever they are, whether they are in the United States or outside of the United States.”

Secretary Rice did not respond to specific allegations that detainees have been held illegally in CIA detention facilities in Europe. She also failed to address rising concerns about specific U.S. interrogation techniques and torture practices such as waterboarding, which clearly violate the policy announced today.

“If the administration is serious about banning mistreatment, it should close secret prisons and get rid of waterboards,” said Tom Malinowski, Washington director of Human Rights Watch. “If Secretary Rice means what she says, the Bush administration should drop its opposition to Senator John McCain's legislation, pending in the U.S. Congress, which would strengthen the legal prohibition against all cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment against all detainees, worldwide.”

Human Rights Watch urged the Bush administration, and European governments, to cooperate with European inquiries about illegal transfers of detainees and secret prisons, and called on the United States to move “disappeared” persons into known detention facilities, articulate the legal basis under which the detainees are held, and allow access by independent observers.

Human Rights Watch also urged the administration to clarify Secretary Rice's announcement today that the United States is bound by international standards not as mere policy, but as a matter of law.

“The ban against cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment has to be more than a `policy,' which can be changed by the president at any time,” said Malinowski. “For months, Senator McCain has been asking for this international ban to be strengthened under U.S. law, and the administration should stop resisting his efforts.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


UN News: Monkeypox Outbreak Can Still Be Contained, Insists UN Health Agency
The monkeypox outbreak that has been reported in 16 countries and several regions of the world can still be contained and the overall risk of transmission is low, the UN health agency said on Tuesday...
More>>


UN: “COVID-19 Is Not Over”, Tedros Warns World Health Assembly
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) told global health Ministers on Sunday that although reported COVID-19 cases and deaths have declined significantly, it is not time to lower the guard... More>>



UN: Bachelet Calls On Mexico To Step Up Efforts As Tragic Milestone Reached Of More Than 100,000 Disappearances

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday called on the Mexican authorities to step up efforts to ensure truth and justice for victims of disappearances, who now number more than 100,000, according to official data... More>>


Access Now: Elon Musk’s Twitter Buyout Must Not Come At The Expense Of Human Rights

Following today’s announcement that Elon Musk will acquire complete ownership of Twitter in a cash sale of around 44 billion USD, pending shareholder approval, Access Now urges Twitter’s Board, employees, and shareholders... More>>



UN: Biodiversity And Ecosystem Protection Highlighted On Mother Earth Day

Marking International Mother Earth Day, UN General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid urged on Friday, for collective action to safeguard biodiversity and protect ecosystems... More>>

Ukraine: Hundreds More Reach Safety After Fleeing Besieged Mariupol
In Ukraine, humanitarians said on Wednesday that hundreds of people have managed to reach safety after fleeing Mariupol, where there’s also been condemnation for the killing of Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravicius... More>>