US ad­mits violating hu­man rights

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

GENEVA: The US said yes­ter­day it did not con­done tor­ture, but ac­knowl­edged to a UN an­ti­tor­ture watch­dog it had “crossed the line” after the Septem­ber 11 at­tacks.

“In the wake of 9/11 at­tacks, we re­gret­tably did not al­ways live up to our own val­ues. We crossed the line and we take re­spon­si­bil­ity for that,” act­ing US le­gal ad­viser Mary McLeod told the UN com­mit­tee on tor­ture. She was quot­ing US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama.

McLeod was one of about 30 top US of­fi­cials in Geneva for Wash­ing­ton’s first grilling by the com­mit­tee since 2006.

Sev­eral del­e­gates ac­knowl­edged abuses dur­ing the so­called war on ter­ror un­der the pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion of George W Bush.

The del­e­ga­tion was ques­tioned about how the coun­try was deal­ing with rec­ti­fy­ing and pro­vid­ing re­dress for ac­knowl­edged abuses dur­ing the “war on ter­ror”.

The US del­e­ga­tion was asked to ex­plain why the US mil­i­tary prison at Guan­tanamo Bay in Cuba re­mains open.

The com­mit­tee mem­bers also ques­tioned the treat­ment of pris­on­ers there, and lack of re­dress for vic­tims abused by US troops at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in the early 2000s.

The com­mit­tee mem­bers raised is­sues of abuses in US prisons, rape in prisons, the use of drawn-out soli­tary con­fine­ment and long years on death row. And they asked how Wash­ing­ton could jus­tify its wide­spread de­ten­tion of non­vi­o­lent, non-crim­i­nal il­le­gal im­mi­grants, in­clud­ing mi­nors.

The com­mit­tee is set to publish its con­clu­sions on Novem­ber 28. – Sapa-AFP

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