Human Rights Watch submitted this statement to inform the Human Rights Committee’s understanding of the US government’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
The US Senate intelligence committee’s long-awaited review of the Central Intelligence Agency’s secret detention and interrogation program after September 11, 2001 should promptly be declassified and released.
On his second full day in office, President Barack Obama signed an executive order banning the use of torture and closing the CIA “black sites” that were the locus of so much abuse. Standing behind him as he signed the order were retired admirals and generals, highly decorated officers who had dedicated their lives to keeping the United States safe.
Obama has corrected course from the worst of the Bush-era detainee abuses but the US should implement public procedural safeguards to ensure detainees are not transferred to countries where they face a risk of torture.
Human Rights Watch discovered in Tripoli tens of thousands of archived documents containing evidence of crimes – such as the US and UK governments’ complicity in torture – committed during Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s rule.
Documents recently discovered by Human Rights Watch in Tripoli reveal new details of the high level of cooperation among United States, United Kingdom and Libyan intelligence agencies in the transfer of terrorism suspects.
The US government should not forcibly return detainees to places where they fear ill-treatment without providing them a fair legal process to contest their repatriation. The Obama administration on January 6, 2011, transferred detainee Saeed Farhi bin Mohammed to his native Algeria despite his expressed fears of abuse in his homeland – the second forcible US return to that country in six months.