US admits violating human rights
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