For Immediate Release
Full ICRC Report Further Underscores Extent Of Torture And Abuse By U.S. Officials
Justice Department Should Appoint Independent Prosecutor And Turn Over Torture Memos, Says ACLU
NEW YORK - A
full report from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
made public late Monday on the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody
further underscores the extent of the systemic and far-reaching use of
torture by American personnel and provides further evidence of the need
for accountability for government officials who broke the law.
In light of this report – the newly
revealed portions of which emphasize the role played by medical
personnel in torture and abuse – the American Civil Liberties Union
renews its call for the Justice Department to appoint an independent
prosecutor to investigate the authorization of torture at CIA prisons
and for the release of several legal memoranda used by the Bush
administration to justify it. The memos, authored by former Office of
Legal Counsel officials Steven Bradbury and Jay Bybee and demanded as
part of an ACLU Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, supplied the legal
framework for the Bush administration's interrogation program. The
deadline for the government to release the memos or justify withholding
them is April 16.
The ACLU, through its John Adams
Project with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, has
worked with under-resourced military lawyers to provide legal counsel
for several of the Guantánamo detainees whose treatment was addressed
in the ICRC report.
The following can be attributed to Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU National Security Project:
"The ICRC report provides further
confirmation of the systemic use of torture against prisoners in CIA
custody and underscores that the CIA's torture program was endorsed and
authorized at the highest levels of the Bush administration. The
Justice Department must now make good on President Obama's commitment
to transparency by making public the legal memos that supplied the
basis for the CIA's torture program. It's also imperative that the
Justice Department appoint an independent prosecutor to conduct a
criminal investigation. Government officials who violated the law
should not be shielded from investigation. Transparency and
accountability are critical to the restoration of the rule of law."
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.