UN Anti-Torture Watchdog Dismayed at US Failure to Provide Redress for Chicago Police Torture Survivors

By: Monday December 1, 2014 2:45 pm

The United States was criticized by the United Nations Committee Against Torture in its recently released report for failing to provide redress for Chicago Police Department torture survivors. The Committee expressed concern that CPD Commander Jon Burge and other officer had engaged in torture between 1972 and 1991, however, no officer had been convicted for torture, particularly because the statute of limitations expired and victims have received zero compensation.

 

UN Committee Against Torture Calls Out Chicago Police for Brutality, ‘Excessive Use of Force’

By: Friday November 28, 2014 2:45 pm

Earlier this month, a US delegation appeared before the committee as all countries that are signatories to the treaty banning torture are supposed to do every four years. Committee members were able to ask officials in the delegation any questions. Delegations from civil society organizations were also able to submit “shadow reports” on the US that committee would use to help them review the country’s record.

The US government’s insistence that a federal law specifically prohibiting torture is unnecessary, holds a “restrictive interpretation” of how the treaty applies to “any territory” under US control, captives remain in indefinite detention without charge or trial at Guantanamo Bay prison and hunger strikers are subject to cruel and inhuman forced-feeding and the failure to appropriately hold officials accountable for torture were each some of the concerns.

Yet, even more remarkable was the fact that an entire section on police brutality and “excessive use of force” in the US solely focused on the Chicago Police Department.

US Delegation Refuses to Explain to UN Committee Why Durham Review Ended in No Prosecutions for Torture

By: Thursday November 13, 2014 3:00 pm

Members of the United Nations Committee Against Torture reviewing the United States’ compliance with the Convention Against Torture (CAT) asked multiples times for further explanation of why a preliminary review into allegations of torture ended in no prosecutions. The US delegation, however, chose to keep the review shrouded in layers of secrecy, perpetuating a perception that the review was not credibly conducted.

Every four years signatories to the CAT are required to submit reports on how they are complying with the ban. The Committee reviews the country’s report and invites government officials from that country to attend a session to provide additional information. The session allows the Committee to put forward questions, which the government will then address.

UN Committee Against Torture Grills US Delegation Over Record Complying With Treaty Ban

By: Wednesday November 12, 2014 4:57 pm

A United States delegation came before the United Nations Committee Against Torture, as part of the committee’s periodic review of compliance with a treaty prohibiting torture. The delegation indicated publicly that, unlike under President George W. Bush, the government had decided the ban applies to the US Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But the delegation still left unresolved the question of whether the US believes the torture ban absolutely prohibits and applies to US officials anywhere in the world.

Every four years signatories to the Convention Against Torture (CAT) are required to submit reports on how they are complying with the ban. The Committee reviews the country’s report and invites government officials from that country to attend a session to provide additional information. The session allows the Committee to put forward questions, which the government is able to respond to the following day.

US Government to Go Before UN Committee Against Torture & Defend Solitary Confinement

By: Tuesday November 11, 2014 12:35 pm

During a periodic review of the country’s obligations under the Convention Against Torture, the United States is expected to go before the United Nations Committee Against Torture in Geneva and defend the use of solitary confinement.

On November 12 and 13, the committee will scrutinize President Barack Obama’s administration and its compliance with the treaty.

On Day of Action Against Police Brutality, Grassroots Group Presents Report on Chicago Police Violence

By: Thursday October 23, 2014 8:45 am

A grassroots organization set up to bring attention to the “voices and experiences” of young people of color most targeted by police violence in Chicago issued a “shadow report,” which has been submitted to the United Nations Committee Against Torture.

The group, We Charge Genocide (WCG), was formed in June after a young African-American man named Dominique Franklin was killed by Chicago police.

In Report to UN Committee Against Torture, US Government Touts Division That Doesn’t Really Prosecute Torturers

By: Thursday October 16, 2014 7:56 am

The United States government submitted its “periodic report” to the United Nations Committee Against Torture. There are multiple glaring aspects of the government’s report on how it believes it is complying fully with the Convention Against Torture (CAT), however, one part of the report where the government claims to have done what it was supposed to do to investigate torture stands out. In particular, the government highlights a Justice Department division as a challenge to impunity for torture, which appears to have prosecuted zero public cases of torture against US officials.

To those unfamiliar, countries which are signatories to the CAT are expected to submit reports every four years to the committee. The committee reviews the report and then issues its own “concluding observations” with concerns and recommendations to the “State party.”

White House’s Censorship of Senate Report on CIA Torture Continues US Indignity Toward Victims

By: Tuesday August 5, 2014 1:15 pm

United States senators involved in producing a more than 6,000-page report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s rendition, detention and interrogation program are upset with significant redactions the White House made to the report. One of the key issues is that the White House censored “pseudonyms” from the report used to protect covert CIA agents and foreign countries, according to a report from McClatchy Newspapers.

Dissenting Torture Memo Bush Administration Tried to Destroy Is Released

By: Wednesday April 4, 2012 9:20 am

A State Department internal memo opposing the Justice Department’s arguments for CIA “enhanced interrogation techniques”—torture—has been released. The memo from February 2006 was written by Philip Zelikow, then counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. It was believed that all copies of the memo had been destroyed, but on April 3, the National Security Archive, obtained a copy through a FOIA request and posted it online.

Unreported Deaths at Guantanamo?

By: Sunday December 19, 2010 7:30 am

According to the transcript of a February 19, 2002 meeting of the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board (AFEB), “[a] number of the detainees have died of the wounds that they arrived with” at Guantanamo. The statement was made by Captain Alan “Jeff” Yund as he discussed “mortuary affairs” at Guantanamo, part of a larger discussion on health issues at the new prison facility. The big question is: why have we never heard of this before? Meanwhile, DoD has issued denials of any deaths at Guantanamo prior to June 2006.

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