The Center for Victims of Torture Applauds Anti-Torture Legislation | Center for Victims of Torture

The Center for Victims of Torture Applauds Anti-Torture Legislation

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Center for Victims of Torture™ (CVT) strongly endorses bi-partisan legislation filed today by Senators McCain, Feinstein, Reed and Collins which strengthens U.S. prohibitions on torture. The amendment places U.S. government interrogations under the U.S. Army Field Manual on Interrogations, which specifically prohibits torture. In addition, the legislation requires that the International Committee of the Red Cross is given access to all prisoners in U.S. custody, regardless of location.

“We work with torture survivors who go to extraordinary lengths to rebuild their lives after the devastating effects of techniques like stress positions, sleep deprivation, beatings and more,” said Curt Goering, CVT executive director. “Having the United States reaffirm its ban on torture by mandating all U.S. agencies, including the CIA, use humane and non-coercive interrogation techniques and codify protections like immediate Red Cross access to detainees are important steps in building confidence that the U.S. will not operate an illegal, secret torture program again.”

More work needs to be done; improvements are needed to strengthen the U.S. Army Field Manual on Interrogations to ensure that all forms of potential abuse are prohibited. And ultimately, there must be accountability for acts of torture conducted by the United States as well as redress for victims. But this legislation is a significant beginning to the end of U.S. torture, and Congress should support its quick passage.

A joint statement in support of the McCain-Feinstein amendment was made by a group of human rights organizations including CVT, the ACLU, The Constitution Project, Human Rights First, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, the Open Society Policy Center and Physicians for Human Rights. Read the joint release here.

Betsy Brown
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Pam McCurdy
Media Relations Strategist
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