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Context of 'April 2, 2003: Pentagon’s Legal Counsel Assures Human Rights Group that Renditioned Suspects Are Not Being Tortured'

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Taliban fighters killed in the battle for Qala-i-Janghi fortress.Taliban fighters killed in the battle for Qala-i-Janghi fortress. [Source: CNN/House of War]UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, joins Amnesty International (see November 27, 2001 and December 5, 2001) in a call for an investigation of killings at Qala-i-Jhangi. (Agence France-Presse 12/1/2001)

In a letter to Human Rights Watch, Pentagon legal counsel William J. Haynes writes that “if the war on terrorists of global reach requires transfers of detained enemy combatants to other countries for continued detention on our behalf, US government instructions are to seek and obtain appropriate assurances that such enemy combatants are not tortured.” (Amnesty International 8/19/2003) However, in December 2002, referring to objections raised about the use of unlawful interrogation methods by Egypt, one Bush government official was quoted in the Washington Post saying, “You can be sure that we are not spending a lot of time on that now.” (Priest and Gellman 12/26/2002)

In a new report on human rights abuses in the US, Amnesty International says that the poor conditions at Guantanamo cause detainees “severe psychological distress.” (Amnesty International 10/27/2004)


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