Red Cross ac­cess

Austin American-Statesman - - OPINION -

In March a con­fi­den­tial re­port by the In­ter­na­tional Com­mit­tee of the Red Cross was re­vealed that found that “high value” de­tainees held in CIA se­cret pris­ons had been sub­jected to tor­ture.

Last month, Physi­cians for Hu­man Rights re­ported that the CIA em­ployed med­i­cal per­son­nel to monitor the harsh treat­ment of these pris­on­ers and to keep de­tailed med­i­cal records. The doc­tors’ par­tic­i­pa­tion fa­cil­i­tated the CIA’s re­fine­ment of meth­ods for in­flict­ing pain while it also pro­vided du­bi­ous cover against the pros­e­cu­tion of in­ter­roga­tors.

The U.S. govern­ment did not give the Red Cross ac­cess to the rel­e­vant de­tainees un­til 2006, four years af­ter some of them were cap­tured and ap­par­ently tor­tured. In or­der to stem such abuses in the fu­ture, the Friends Meet­ing of Austin joins the Na­tional Re­li­gious Cam­paign Against Tor­ture in call­ing for im­me­di­ate fed­eral leg­is­la­tion that per­ma­nently guar­an­tees the Red Cross ac­cess to all de­tainees. Wal­Ter long

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