“As a nation that has publicly affirmed its belief that respect for truth advances respect for the rule of law, and as a nation that frequently calls for transparency and accountability in other countries, the United States must rise to meet the standards it has set both for itself and for others,” urges the letter, signed by seven independent experts working for the UN.
The Senate select committee investigation into torture by the CIA lasted four years and examined millions of CIA documents and emails, which laid bare the interrogation methods used on detainees suspected of terrorism. In April, the select committee voted 11-3 to declassify portions of the 6,300 page, $40mln report. According to the Guardian, Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein of California called the CIA’s findings "in stark contrast to our values as a nation".
After the April vote, the White House again committed itself to publishing sections of the report, but announced that the agency itself is to decide what to redact. “The CIA, in consultation with other agencies, will conduct the declassification review,” said the National Security Council.
The experts also sought to remind the president that every party to the UN Convention against Torture, “has an obligation to thoroughly and promptly investigate credible reports of torture, ensure accountability and provide adequate remedies to victims.”
“Lasting security can only be achieved on the basis of truth and not secrecy,” the letter stressed. The group of experts who wrote it are part of the Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system.