US Torture Report a Black Mark

 

US officials have lost the right to criticise others now that their own grisly detention and interrogation methods have been exposed, according to Bahraini activists.

Shocking revelations about the extent of the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) ‘enhanced interrogation’ techniques were made yesterday in a long-awaited US Senate Intelligence Committee report that has finally seen the light of day.

Dubbed the ‘torture report’, it outlines a catalogue of abuse committed against detainees of the US ‘“ who were forced to stand on broken limbs for hours, subjected to mock executions and made to undergo rectal examinations conducted with ‘excessive force’.

National Institution for Human Rights (NIHR) commissioner Ahmed Al Sa’ati told the GDN that the revelations in the report were ‘shocking and unacceptable’.

‘We see the US always speaking in support of human rights, but this report tells that they no longer have the right to do that,’ he said.

‘I urge them to leave the world and Bahrain alone, and let countries deal with their own rights issues, while they deal with theirs.

‘It is unfair that the US makes a big issue of even the smallest of cases such as of activists Zainab Al Khawaja and Nabeel Rajab, who were punished according to Bahraini law because they violated the law.

‘The US pointed these out as rights violation, which is not justified.’

Mr Al Sa’ati added that the report was a ‘clear message to the US that people who live in glasshouses must not throw stones’.

Meanwhile, Al Fateh Youth Coalition spokesman Yacoub Al Slaise said the report was not so shocking, as stories of US torture were nothing new.

‘The horrible images from Abu Ghraib prison, which are still vivid in people’s minds, say it all,’ he said.

‘The fact also remains that the Guantanamo Bay detention facility is still open ‘“ despite President Barack Obama’s promise to close it down when he came to power.

‘He is in the middle of his second term in office and yet nothing has been done.’

He went on to describe attempts to defend CIA’s techniques as ‘disturbing and despicable’.

‘There are websites that try to justify this torture and I see that as unacceptable,’ he said.

‘This underlines what people have been talking about all along ‘“ the US has double standards in its policies.’

The GDN reported yesterday that security had been stepped up at US facilities in Bahrain coinciding with the release of the report as officials feared a backlash against its findings.

However, Mr Al Slaise dismissed such concerns.

‘Those fears are unfounded, especially in Bahrain, where US citizens are safe and will not be targeted by any groups,’ he said.

‘We know that the report is an administrative document and citizens are not to be blamed for such violations.’

raji@gdn.com.bh

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