"As yesterday's US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report shows, torture is still taking place in quite a few of the 156 countries that have ratified the [UN] Convention against Torture and have domestic legislation making it illegal," Zeid said.
Noting that December 10 is Human Rights Day, Zeid said that "the Convention against Torture is crystal clear. It says – and I quote – 'No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.' The Convention lets no one off the hook – neither the torturers themselves, nor the policy-makers, nor the public officials, who define the policy or give the orders."
In his statement Zeid called for "immediate bold action to eradicate this most vicious of crimes."
"Victims of torture, disappearance, extrajudicial executions, or arbitrary or unlawful detention must be speedily and adequately compensated for the terrible experiences they have suffered at the hands of employees of the State," he concluded.
On Tuesday, US Senate Intelligence Committee released a 500-page summary of the detailed investigation into the CIA interrogation techniques that were used on alleged al-Qaeda agents, following the 9/11 attacks. A full probe into the interrogation practices was commissioned by the Intelligence Committee back in 2009.
The full comprehensive report contains a 6,300-page description of CIA interrogation techniques used against detainees including waterboarding, threats of sexual assault, forced nudity, prolonged sleep deprivation, use of stress positions, mock executions, threats against children and family, use of power drills and many other torture practices, carried out in CIA detention centers around the world.