CVT Profoundly Disappointed in New Legal Authorization for Indefinite Detention

Friday, December 16, 2011

Center for Victims of Torture Profoundly Disappointed in New Legal Authorization for Indefinite Detention

St. Paul, MN – The Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) is profoundly disappointed that Congress has approved, and President Obama has agreed to sign into law, new legal authorization for indefinite detention of captured terrorism suspects under the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA). This action marks the first time the United States has statutorily authorized cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees.

“For the past 26 years, CVT has extended care to more than 20,000 victims of torture,” said Douglas A. Johnson, Executive Director, CVT. “From our experience, we know indefinite detention causes severe, prolonged and harmful health and mental health problems for those detained. We oppose indefinite detention on behalf of torture victims, because among those we care for are victims who have suffered while being imprisoned without charge or trial and without being told when, if ever, they might be released.”

CVT also opposes indefinite detention because it rises to the level of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in direct violation of our Constitution and obligations under the Convention Against Torture. The use of indefinite detention also compels the U.S. to abandon international human rights standards vital to our national security interests. Placing detainees in custody indefinitely without charge or trial has absolutely no place in our laws.

“CVT is committed to working against counterterrorism policies that inflict torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees and speaking up for people purposefully silenced by torture. We call upon President Obama and Congress to make repealing the NDAA provisions authorizing indefinite detention a top priority,” said Johnson.

# # #

CVT is a nonprofit based in St. Paul with an office in Washington D.C. and projects in Africa and the Middle East. Visit



Brad Robideau
brobideau [at]

Media Contact

Jenni Bowring-McDonough
Media Relations Manager
+1 612-436-4886 (office) or +1 651-226-3858 (mobile)
Journalists:  If you’d like to receive CVT press releases, please email your request to Jenni Bowring-McDonough at jbowring [at]




We heal victims of torture through unique services and professional care worldwide.

Read More


We strengthen partners who heal torture survivors and work to prevent torture.

Read More


We advocate for the protection & care of torture survivors and an end to torture.

Read More