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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Report Outlines Bush Administration Torture Policy, Calls for Investigations and Prosecutions

Human Rights USA, a non-profit human rights organization, released a report today entitled “Indefensible: A Reference for Prosecuting Torture and Other Felonies Committee by U.S. Officials Following September 11th.” The report presents detailed evidence that torture was the official policy of the Bush administration and that high-ranking Bush administration officials planned and authorized the illegal interrogation techniques which were used against detainee terror suspects in the aftermath of September 11th. The report calls for repudiation of torture by the U.S. government and accountability for government officials who authorized the torture. It also serves as a how-to guide for prosecutions of these officials should be conducted going forward.

From 2002 to 2007, the United States Department of Justice sanctioned acts of torture committed by members of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency against detained suspected terrorists.  These acts of torture were outlined and authorized in a series of secret "torture memos" drafted by John Yoo, Jay Bybee, and Steven Bradbury, senior lawyers in the DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel. In the decade since the beginning of the Bush administration’s illegal anti-terrorism policies, not one torture survivor has been able to bring to justice the government officials who authorized the acts of torture. The Human Rights USA report lays the groundwork for litigation against government officials responsible for approving and using illegal interrogation techniques that were the official policy of the Bush administration.

Alliance for Justice documented the radical justifications for torture in our short film Tortured Law,  and advocates for full accountability for those officials in the U.S. government who legitimized torture. AFJ applauds and supports the Human Rights USA’s efforts to bring further light to the torture policies and achieve accountability for torture.

The new report is a collaborative effort between Human Rights USA and the International Human Rights Law Clinic at American University Washington College of Law. The report is available online.

To learn more about accountability for torture, visit our webpage.

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