Two suspects in Vittorio's case die surrounded by Hamas forces

This was utterly predictable. Two of three (later, according to a report in Ma’an News Agency four) suspects listed publicly as wanted in connection with the abduction, torture and murder of Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni in Gaza last week are now reported to have died yesterday, surrounded by Hamas forces during a siege on a […]

Read More

U.S. "supports investigation" into death of Egyptian blogger Khaled Said

The U.S. State Department Acting Deputy Department Spokesman, Mark Toner, told journalists at a regular briefing in Washington on Friday that “We have called for – and I believe there is an ongoing investigation in that case, so we support — that investigation” [into the brutal death of Khaled Said soon after being detained by [&h...

Read More

El-Baradei joins Egyptian demonstrators saying enough – stop torture

Ben Wedeman’s report for CNN today on yesterday’s demonstration in Alexandria [there was also a big demonstration in Cairo] against the death in police custody of Khaled Said, and against torture, is posted here. One woman demonstrating told CNN that: “They want to tame us and they want to get us used to torture, even […]

Read More

Obama's Executive Order to close Guantanamo expired yesterday

“One of US President Barack Obama’s most publicized and internationally applauded first acts upon coming into office was his executive order to shut down the detention center at Guantanamo Bay within a year”, as Sara Kuepfer Thakkar wrote in an analysis for the Zurich-based ISN Security Watch, but “The deadline for closing Guantan...

Read More

Everything we know about Al-Qaeda may be untrue – if based on torture

The Washington Post, in an article published on Saturday, reported that “previously unpublicized details about the transformation, in 2005-2006, of the man known to U.S. officials as [Khalid Sheik Mohammed ] KSM  [was transformed] from an avowed and truculent enemy of the United States into what the CIA called its ‘preeminent sourceR...

Read More

Sleep deprivation is torture

One of the documents on interrogation techniques released this week in Washington [[see our previous post here ]] was an internal CIA report that, as AP says, describes “two instances in 2007 in which the CIA was allowed to exceed the guidelines set by Bush administration lawyers allowing prisoners to be kept awake for up […]

Read More

Torture – an unforgivable crime

John Sifton has just written in The Daily Beast that in the “Bush-era documents about the CIA’s detention and interrogation program”, just released by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Justice, “it’s difficult to know what they say: Many key sections of the most important documents contain heavy redactions̶...

Read More

Today is International Day Against Torture

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights calls it the “International Day in Support of Victims of Torture”, and she issued a statement saying that “The prohibition of torture is one of the most absolute to be found anywhere in international law. Article 2 of the Convention against Torture is unequivocal: ‘No exceptional circumsta...

Read More

Condoleezza Rice on waterboarding: "I did not authorize anything … "

On 1 May, Scott Horton, a New York attorney with an interest in international law, especially human rights law, and a contributing editor to Harper’s Magazine, posted an extraordinary recent amateur video, taken from Youtube, on his No Comment blog (located on Harper’s website). Horton’s post is entitled “Condi’s reall...

Read More

Do legal memos on torture exonerate Private Graner and Lynndie England?

The Washington Post reports that the recent release of Justice Department [Office of Legal Affairs] memos [addressed to the CIA] authorizing the use of “harsh interrogation techniques” has given Army Pvt. Charles A. Graner Jr and other soldiers [including Lynndie R. England] “new reason to argue that they were made scapegoats for ...

Read More