HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Good Reads (Forum) » Torture Survivors Ask the...

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:34 AM

Torture Survivors Ask the UN: What’s the Point of Having Laws Against Torture if They Don’t Apply to

http://truth-out.org/news/item/12811-torture-survivors-ask-the-un-whats-the-point-of-having-laws-against-torture-if-they-dont-apply-to-the-powerful?


Torture Survivors Ask the UN: What’s the Point of Having Laws Against Torture if They Don’t Apply to the Powerful?
Sunday, 18 November 2012 13:05
By Katherine Gallagher, Center for Constitutional Rights | Report

One thing brings these four men together. Hassan bin Attash, Sami el-Hajj, Muhammed Khan Tumani and Murat Kurnaz—they are all survivors of the systematic torture program the Bush administration authorized and carried out in locations including Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantánamo, and numerous prisons and CIA “black sites” around the world. Between them, they have been beaten, hung from walls or ceilings, deprived of sleep, food and water, and subjected to freezing temperatures and other forms of torture and abuse while held in U.S. custody. None was charged with a crime, two were detained while still minors, and one of them remains at Guantánamo.

~snip~

The country in question is Canada, visited last year by former U.S. President George W. Bush during a paid speaking engagement in Surrey, British Columbia. Bush’s visit drew hundreds in protest, calling for his arrest, and it also provided bin Attash, el-Hajj, Tumani and Kurnaz the opportunity to call on the Canadian government to uphold its legal obligation under the U.N. Convention against Torture, and conduct a criminal investigation against Bush while he was on Canadian soil.

To this end, the four men, submitted a 69-page draft indictment that CCR and CCIJ had presented to Canada’s attorney general ahead of Bush’s arrival in support of their private prosecution. The submission included thousands of pages of evidence against Bush consisting of extensive reports and investigations conducted by multiple U.S. agencies and the U.N. The evidence is overwhelming, not to mention the fact that Bush has admitted, even, boasted of his crimes, saying “damn right” when asked if it was permissible to waterboard a detainee – a recognized act of torture.

~snip~

Thanks to the Obama administration’s call to look only “forward” – even in the face of torture that demands a proper reckoning – and a court system in the U.S. that has readily closed its doors to torture survivors, the crimes of the Bush era are effectively beyond the reach of justice in the U.S. But the immunity – the impunity – granted to these criminals here should not follow them into other countries, particularly those that are signatories to international laws and treaties against torture.

10 replies, 1807 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply Torture Survivors Ask the UN: What’s the Point of Having Laws Against Torture if They Don’t Apply to (Original post)
unhappycamper Nov 2012 OP
Ash_F Nov 2012 #1
leftyohiolib Nov 2012 #3
Ash_F Nov 2012 #4
adieu Nov 2012 #5
leftyohiolib Nov 2012 #2
reusrename Nov 2012 #10
Solly Mack Nov 2012 #6
fasttense Nov 2012 #7
OnyxCollie Nov 2012 #8
Uncle Joe Nov 2012 #9

Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:02 AM

1. Elections have consequences

"Not only did federal Attorney General Robert Nicholson refuse to investigate Bush, but the Attorney General of British Columbia swiftly intervened to shut down a private criminal prosecution submitted to a provincial court in his jurisdiction the morning of Bush’s visit"

The citizens of Canada should work on replacing these two clowns and those who appointed them. Sorry about Bush, neighbors.




I just wish we could get rid of Holder.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Ash_F (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:07 AM

3. i heard holder is thinking of leaving

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to leftyohiolib (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:09 AM

4. It shouldn't be up to him.

But yeah, me too.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Ash_F (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:09 AM

5. As Mark Twain once opined

When you kill one person, you're a murderer. When you kill millions of people, they roll out the red carpet for you. (At that time, Twain was referring to events occurring during the Spanish-American War in the late 1890s in the Philippines.)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:06 AM

2. look forward is a convenient way to ignore the shit storm behind you - the mess you should

 

have tended to. it's like when a murderer stands before a judge and the judge says let's just look forward then lets the murderer walk out. at what point does a person in that position become an accomplice if not certainly an enabler

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to leftyohiolib (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:49 AM

10. I believe they are complicint. They have a duty to perform.

 

Under the UN Convention against Torture, they are legally bound to take action.

Article 12

Each State Party shall ensure that its competent authorities proceed to a prompt and impartial investigation, wherever there is reasonable ground to believe that an act of torture has been committed in any territory under its jurisdiction.


http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/39/a39r046.htm


Also, the Nuremberg Principles are very informative.

Principle I.
Any person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefore and liable to punishment.

Principle II.
The fact that internal law does not impose a penalty for an act which constitutes a crime under international law does not relieve the person who committed the act from responsibility under international law.

Principle III.
The fact that a person who committed an act which constitutes a crime under international law acted as Head of State or responsible government official does not relieve him from responsibility under international law.

Principle IV.
The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.

Principle V.
Any person charged with a crime under international law has the right to a fair trial on the facts and law.

Principle VI.
The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:

(a) Crimes against peace:
(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;
(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).

(b) War Crimes:
Violations of the laws or customs of war which include, but are not limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation of slave-labour or for any other purpose of the civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.

(c) Crimes against humanity:
Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhumane acts done against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds, whensuch acts are done or such persecutions are carried on in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime.

Principle VII.
Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principle VI is a crime under international law.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:31 AM

6. K&R

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:36 AM

7. What are the purpose of US and UN anti-torture laws?

The laws are routinely ignored. Only government institution routinely torture people and we have shown we will NOT hold governments or the officials authorizing torture accountable. Let's just wipe the anti-torture laws off the books. They serve absolutely NO purpose.

Rule of law? No way. Rule by the whim of those momentarily in power is the new law of the land.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:25 AM

8. Protection is for Big Oil and Big Finance, not people.

Economic interests are rational, and if torturing people helps the bottom line, that's what needs to be done.

Besides, who and what army is gonna stop us?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:17 PM

9. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, unhappycamper.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread