A European investigator looking into allegations of secret, CIA-run prisons in Europe said today that “a great deal” of evidence pointed towards the existence of a US system of “outsourcing” torture.
Swiss senator Dick Marty said it was also highly likely European governments knew what the US had been doing, and that more than 100 prisoners may have been involved in recent years.
New evidence demonstrated in 2005 that torture and mistreatment have been a deliberate part of the Bush administration’s counterterrorism strategy, undermining the global defense of human rights.
Human Rights Watch World Report 2006 provides massive and useful documentation.
The evidence showed that abusive interrogation cannot be reduced to the misdeeds of a few low-ranking soldiers, but was a conscious policy choice by senior U.S. government officials. The policy has hampered Washington’s ability to cajole or pressure other states into respecting international law, said the 532-page volume’s introductory essay.
“Fighting terrorism is central to the human rights cause,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “But using illegal tactics against alleged terrorists is both wrong and counterproductive.”
Roth said the illegal tactics were fueling terrorist recruitment, discouraging public assistance of counterterrorism efforts and creating a pool of unprosecutable detainees.