These prohibited acts include:
What are the remedies against torture?
During his State of the Union address, President Bush spoke about the horrifying torture techniques Saddam Hussein has inflicted on prisoners in Iraq. He described the use of electric shock, burning with hot irons, acid, and rape. He said that the Iraqi government tortured children to get their parents to confess to crimes.
Photographs of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, hooded, naked, attached to wires, attacked by dogs, forced to simulate sex acts and assume humiliating and painful postitions, and presided over by smiling U.
Other incidents of abuse and even murder have come to light and received new attention. Although President Bush apologized for the Abu Ghraib incident and military investigations are proceeding against the individuals involved in these incidents and others, there as yet has been no commitment by the United States to prosecute those found responsible for torture or inhuman and degrading treatment for war crimes.
Long before the Abu Ghraib scandal, newspapers such as the New York Times and the Washington Post published credible reports, based on interviews with former detainees and unnamed U.
None of the reported allegations suggest the United States has utilized such horrific techniques as electric shock or burning. They do, however, Thesis international criminal law torture war crimes that the United States has been willing to inflict other forms of physical or mental pain in an effort to obtain intelligence from captured terrorist suspects.
According to a December 26, story in the Washington Post, "U. Prior to interrogation, some captives have been beaten. The story suggested that CIA officials are willing to use the fruits of intelligence foreign countries obtained using torture.
Interrogators make a Captured Terrorist Talk? Army pathologist reportedly classified the deaths as homicides.
On March 6,President Bush told visiting U. To date, however, no senior administration official has refuted the specific allegations of abusive interrogations presented in the media.
No senior administration official has unequivocally stated that it is against U. No official has said that U. The recent capture of high-ranking al-Qaeda suspects has rekindled a debate in the United States about whether torture is or should be used during their interrogation. Many Americans—including, apparently, U.
The right to be free from such mistreatment is one of the most fundamental and unequivocal human rights. As the United States confronts terrorism, legitimate national security needs, public anxiety, and the desire for retribution may give rise to the temptation to sacrifice certain fundamental rights.
But that temptation must be vigorously resisted. The right not to be tortured or mistreated is not a luxury to be dispensed with in difficult times, but the very essence of a society worth defending. President Bush has said that the war on terrorism is about values; he has pledged that as it fights, the United States will always stand for "the non-negotiable demands of human dignity.
Rejecting torture does not mean forgoing effective interrogations of terrorist suspects. Patient, skillful, professional interrogations obtain critical information without relying on cruelty or inhuman or degrading treatment.
Indeed, most seasoned interrogators recognize that torture is not only immoral and illegal, but ineffective and unnecessary as well.
Given that people being tortured will say anything to stop the pain, the information yielded from torture is often false or of dubious reliability.
The prohibition against torture is firmly embedded in customary international law, international treaties signed by the United States, and in U.
Department of State has noted, the "United States has long been a vigorous supporter of the international fight against torture…Every unit of government at every level within the United States is committed, by law as well as by policy, to the protection of the individual's life, liberty and physical integrity" [U.
That commitment should not be abandoned. Indeed, it must be deepened as the world watches how the U. It would irreparably weaken its standing to oppose torture elsewhere in the world.
And it would provide a handy excuse to other governments to use torture to pursue their own national security objectives. In this paper, Human Rights Watch provides an overview of the international and national prohibitions against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, with a focus on the prohibition as it applies to the interrogation of detainees.
What laws prohibit torture? Do non-citizens in the U. Can a person be compelled to provide evidence? Can limited physical force be used during interrogations? Is the use of "truth serums" permitted? Are there any situations in which torture is permitted?
Shouldn't torture be permitted if its use will save lives? The Convention against Torture defines torture as "any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession….War crimes and crimes against humanity are among the gravest crimes in international law.” According to the International Criminal Court, “War crimes include grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict and in conflicts “not of an international character” listed in the Rome Statute, when they are committed as part of a .
Torture and ill-treatment occupy an important place in international criminal law, another branch of international law (Torture and Ill-Treatment n.d.). Thus, commission of torture and ill-treatment under international criminal law is an international crime and entails criminal responsibility (Torture and .
The prohibition against torture is also fundamental to humanitarian law (also known as the laws of war), which governs the conduct of parties during armed conflict. Their procedures deviate substantially from criminal trials in civilian courts, courts-martial under military law, and international and criminal trials.
It reduces the scope of the War Crimes Act, which is the U.S. mechanism for the criminal prosecution of war crimes [Sec. 6]. The second category of war crimes that is listed in Article 8 of the Rome Statute is ‘other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict, within the founded framework of international law’.
The International Law Commission had debated itself with listing the crimes subject to the court’s jurisdiction – war crimes, aggression, crimes against humanity, genocide and other crimes – presumptively because the draft code of crimes, on which it was also working, would present the more encompassing definitional aspects.