Monday, March 16, 2009

ICRC Report Suggests CIA Violated International Law

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) ended a confidential report on CIA prisons by stating that the Bush administration's treatment of al-Qaeda prisoners "constituted torture," a conclusion with a strong suggestion that CIA interrogation methods violated international law. Read the article in the Washington Post.

The ICRC's 2007 report "states that some U.S. practices amounted to 'cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.' Such maltreatment of detainees is expressly prohibited by the Geneva Conventions." You can read more about the Geneva Conventions on this page of the ICRC's website.

At least five copies of the ICRC's secret report were shared with the CIA and top White House officials in 2007 but "barred from public release by ICRC guidelines intended to preserve the humanitarian group's strict policy of neutrality in conflicts," according to the Post. Nevertheless, journalism professor and author Mark Danner obtained a copy of the report and has published excerpts from it in the New York Review of Books.

For more resources on this topic, see our guides to Human Rights and Treaties.

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