Ending Torture in a Post 9/11 World

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. government made numerous illegal and unwise decisions that led to the widespread and systematic use of torture and cruelty in U.S. detention facilities in Iraq, Guantanamo, Afghanistan and secret prisons around the world. Progress has been made but important work remains to be done.

Strengthening U.S. Ban on Torture

The use of torture or cruelty will never again be official U.S. policy as an overwhelming bi-partisan majority of Congress and the White House joined forces to resoundingly denounce the use of torture in any U.S. operation by any U.S. government agency at any time. President Obama signed an executive order in 2009 banning torture and cruel treatment and in November 2015, led by John McCain (R-AZ) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Congress enshrined key elements of that executive order into U.S. law. Read more about the McCain-Feinstein Amendment

On December 9, 2014, the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released the executive summary of this landmark and bipartisan report on CIA torture. Within its 500-plus pages, it exposes a shameful chapter in American history by describing a more brutal, widespread, and deceitful CIA torture program. Prominent military, national security, foreign policy, religious leaders, media, and others expressed support for the public release of the CIA torture report.

Ending indefinite detention at Guantanamo

The serious physical and psychological harm that results from indefinite detention can constitute cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Read details here.

Closing Guantanamo Bay prison isn't enough; indefinite detention must end. Read CVT's press release here.

CVT continues to call on the President to end indefinite detention without charge or trial of prisoners held at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo.

Read CVT’s position statement on Hunger Strikes and Forced Feeding at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo.

U.S. Bi-Partisan Leadership against Torture

In commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the Reagan Administration signing the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, CVT issued the policy report, “U.S. Bi-Partisan Leadership Against Torture.” The report highlights historical bipartisan opposition to torture and calls for the United States to regain its global leadership against torture and cruel treatment. Read our op-ed in the Huffington Post, “The Convention against Torture 25 Years Later.”

In 2008, CVT helped coordinate a bipartisan coalition of more than 200 foreign policy experts, retired military leaders, intelligence experts, security chiefs and faith leaders calling for the President to sign an Executive Order to ban torture and cruelty. The bipartisan group of supporters included six former Secretaries of State or Defense, three former National Security Advisors, four former members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and more than forty retired flag officers. 

Healing

We heal victims of torture through unique services and professional care worldwide.

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Training

We strengthen partners who heal torture survivors and work to prevent torture.

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Advocacy

We advocate for the protection & care of torture survivors and an end to torture.

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