15:30 GMT23 September 2020
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    Amnesty International has stated that US authorities must justify the country's use of torture in the past before the US can proclaim itself a global leader in the fight against torture.

    MOSCOW, November 12 (RIA Novosti) — The United States should use the ongoing UN Committee Against Torture hearings to address allegations of serious human rights violations by its servicemen, Amnesty International said in a Wednesday statement.

    "The USA proclaimed itself to be a global leader against torture even when torture and enforced disappearance were being authorized at the highest levels of government under the Bush administration," Zeke Johnson, who heads the US Individuals at Risk program at the human rights body, was quoted as saying in the press release.

    "Today the USA asserts that it is committed to the principles of UNCAT [UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment] even as it fails to bring those responsible for past torture to justice," Johnson added.

    In the statement, Amnesty International cited "enhanced interrogation techniques" such as water-boarding, or the interrupted drowning of a detained person, as one of the forms of human rights violations practiced by US security services. The organization also condemned the CIA's secret detention program.

    "The accountability gap is truly shocking. The lack of truth, remedy and accountability in relation to the USA's use of torture and enforced disappearance represents a serious affront to the rule of law and respect for human rights," Johnson concluded.

    The United States ratified the UNCAT in 1994. However, the country pledged to abstain from cruel treatment only to the extent that it conformed to domestic laws.

    The third review of the United States' obligations under the Convention Against Torture is being held in Geneva on November 12-13. According to Amnesty International, Washington has yet to implement many of the committee's previous recommendations.

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    Tags:
    torture, Amnesty International, United States
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