International Law, Torture and the Transfer of Suspects: Destination Unknown

Last month, the US Senate voted overwhelmingly to limit the military’s interrogation tactics and to prohibit the mistreatment of prisoners. Unfortunately, the US has long been engaged in practices that violate existing national and international laws against torture and has done so in ways designed to minimise its accountability.

The World Today
3 minute READ

Kristan Williams

Author of Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America, Soft Skull Press, 2004

While the Abu Ghraib prison scandal focused public attention on the military’s faults, the same sorts of abuses have gone on with far less scrutiny, at the hands of US intelligence agencies, often with the acquiescence or collaboration of other national governments.

Increasingly since September 11, 2001, the United States government has taken advantage of the generosity of regimes with well-deserved reputations for brutality. Najeeb Nuaimi, a former Qatar justice minister, told the Washington Post, ‘The number of people who have been detained in the Arab world for the sake of America is much more than in Guantanamo Bay. Really, thousands.’

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