Special Report: Torture
Ending Torture in Municipalities
Here is encouraging new information on an anti-torture resolution by the City of Chicago. The resolution was passed by the City Council in January 2012 following a petition drive by the Illinois Coalition Against Torture (ICAT) that vastly exceeded its original goal. "Much of the impetus to pass the resolution resulted from the accumulated outrage that many in Chicago felt regarding the Chicago police's torture of black men."
In an article by Sister Benita Coffey in the Chicago Tribune, she states that torture "degrades victims, perpetrators, and, yes, even those who stand in silence while they know it is happening." So that good people will not have to stand in silence, ICAT has produced a guide for others to get an anti-torture resolution passed in their own city.
State Secrets Privilege Invoked in Dismissal of 2010 Rendition for Torture Case
2010 Sept. 8 New York Times editorial says the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in a sharply divided decision, dismissed a lawsuit alleging five men had been sent to other countries by the Bush administration to be tortured. Grounds for dismissal were "that even discussing the matter in court would violate the state secrets privilege". The Justice Department under President Obama argued in the case that the Bush policy should be continued. The minority in the decision "point[ed] out that the plaintiffs were never even given a chance to make their case in court using nonsecret evidence....All too often in the past, the judges pointed out, secrecy privileges have been used to avoid embarrassing the government, not to protect real secrets."
2007 March 9 BBC article on hearings on 14 Guantanamo defendants transfered from secret CIA prisons says there are no reporters or defense lawyers at the hearings, which may consider evidence obtained by force.China has a program of forced labor for prisoners, which the government says is aimed at reforming prisoners through "re-education". Former prisoners say the program is aimed at enforcing totalitarian control through political propaganda and allowing no time for independent thinking. Controversy exists over how many prison-produced products are sold as exports. Human rights groups mainly object to the fact that people can be held in labor camps for up to four years based on vague charges by police, without trials or access to lawyers, and there are many reports of torture. Reform efforts are hindered by lack of access by independent monitors; even the International Red Cross is not allowed to visit the facilities.
Torture in U.S. Prisons
2009 January 26 United Nations review of U.S. interrogation techniques
2006 May 5 BBC News report says Amnesty International submitted a report to the U.N. Committee that said actions of the U.S. betrayed its words regarding torture.