08:15 GMT20 February 2020
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    The amendment reaffirms that US military, intelligence and law enforcement personnel are strictly limited to methods outlined in the US Army Field Manual when interrogating or detaining individuals.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Senate overwhelmingly approved an amendment reaffirming the prohibition on the use of torture, according to the final vote on the Senate floor on Tuesday.

    “We must continue to insist that the methods we employ in this fight for peace and freedom must always, always be as right and honorable as the goals and ideals we fight for,” Senator John McCain, who sponsored the amendment, said on the Senate floor.

    The amendment, if signed into law by US President Barack Obama, would codify that “enhanced interrogation” techniques previously justified in the US war on terror are illegal. In 2009, Obama issued an executive order banning enhanced interrogation.

    The ban against torture was approved in a vote of 78 to 21, meaning 21 members of the US Senate disapproved of holding US military and law enforcement officials to standards outlined in the internationally recognized Geneva Conventions.

    The law further reaffirms that the prohibition applies to officers outside of the armed services, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency and other law enforcement agencies.

    Torture is already prohibited under US law and US international treaty obligations, but under the presidency of George W. Bush executive orders and legal directives allowed US intelligence agencies to conduct enhanced interrogation.

    In December 2014, the US Senate released a report outlining the use of torture by the US Central Intelligence Agency. The practices employed by the CIA against enemy combatants and detainees included waterboarding, questionable medical procedures, and other methods that are not defined in the Army Field Manual.

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    law, torture, US Senate, Barack Obama, United States
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