A bipartisan study finding “indisputable” evidence of torture for which the highest United States officials bear responsibility should spur the US government to thoroughly investigate detainee abuse since September 11, 2001, and provide redress to victims.
President Barack Obama should tell King Mohammed VI of Morocco that US support for the reform process in Morocco depends on moving beyond rhetoric and making tangible chang. The reforms should include stronger legal protections for rights and an end to impunity for police who use violence and commit other abuses. The king will meet with a US president in Washington for the first time in 11 years on November 22, 2013.
The decision of the Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on November 5, 2013, about the Hissène Habré trial averts a potential obstacle in the path to justice for the long suffering victims of his rule.
Tunisian legislators should elect qualified, independent experts to a new body created to combat and prevent torture. Authorities should give the new authority sufficient resources and the political support it needs to carry out its mandate effectively.
The United States announcement of a US$1million contribution to the special Senegalese court charged with trying the former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré affirms the importance of Senegal’s efforts to ensure justice for Chadian victims in Africa.
Yemen’s transitional government has started the process of restructuring the military and security forces. Nevertheless, serious human rights violations continue and efforts to implement a United Nations-facilitated transition blueprint have at times met with violent resistance from supporters of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and other armed elements.
Delegates should not fail the people of Sudan by accepting as progress small steps, plans and promises by the Government of Sudan, while it engages in abusive practices of indiscriminate aerial bombing and other unlawful killings and restricting basic rights and freedoms across the country.