CVT on Obama Administration Statements Against Torture
Statement from the Center for Victims of Torture
St. Paul, MN – Since the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden, there has been a small but vocal group calling for the return to policies of torture and cruel treatment of detainees. A leader of this group is former Vice President Dick Cheney, who vigorously defends the previous Administration’s unlawful and misguided interrogation policies in his memoir and during subsequent national media appearances.
Over the past few months, the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) has been actively engaged in calling upon President Obama and senior members of his Administration to reassert the Obama Administration’s renunciation and rejection of torture. That is why we welcome the news that, in a span of one week, two high-ranking officials in the Obama Administration, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John O. Brennan and Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., made unequivocal statements that this Administration will not use torture.1
It is clear this Administration will not violate the rule of law, undermine our national security and imperil our moral leadership throughout the world. We know there is still work to be done. We continue to work with other human rights groups to prevent the use of sleep deprivation, prolonged isolation and indefinite detention. Such treatment rises to the level of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and has serious physical and psychological consequences.
CVT will not cease in our efforts to ensure that no future presidency slips back to official policies of torture. We remain committed to the establishment of an independent, nonpartisan commission to investigate the use of torture and cruelty in counterterrorism activities post-September 11, 2001.
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1 Brennan, John O. "Strengthening our Security by Adhering to our Values and Laws." Program on Law and Security. Harvard Law School. Cambridge, MA. 16 September 2011. http://www.whitehouse.gov/thepress-office/2011/09/16/remarks-john-o-brennan-strengthening-our-security-adhering-our-values-an (Retrieved on September 28, 2011). Casert, Raf. “Obama administration insists on Guantanamo closure.” Associated Press. 20 September 2011. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_US_GUANTANAMO?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-09-20-08-30-20 (Retrieved on September 28, 2011).
CVT is a nonprofit based in St. Paul with an office in Washington D.C. and projects in Africa and the Middle East. Visit www.CVT.org.
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