Saturday, March 18, 2006

U.S. Torture Policies Inspire Renewed International Outrage

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

As the New York Times reveals that Abu Ghraib torture continued after the initial revelations, a Russian federation has demanded that the United Nations order the closure of the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo.

In a paper called "In Defense of Humanity", the 46 deputies representing of the Russian Federation Communist Party have denounced what they've termed "Guantanomo's shame" and have demanded that the U.S. detention center in Cuba be closed. 400 intellectuals from 30 countries signed a formal document calling for the closure.

The signatories include Guennadi Ziuganov, president of the Russian Federation Communist Party, Nobel Prizewinner Zhores Alfiorov, Deputy President of the Law Camera Valentin Kupsov, President of the parliamentary group of friendship with Cuba Vitali Sebastianov, Cosmonaut Svietlana Savitskaya and General Director of the Russian paper "Sovietskaya" Rossia Valentin Chiquin. They have unanimously accused the Bush administration and U.S. Euroopean allies of working to prevent the Human Rights Commission in Geneva from formally condemning violations of human rights by the United States at Guantanamo.

The paper has charged the governments of the European Union with refusing to admit evidence of torture and other human rights violations by the United States.

According to the Latin American news agency, Presna Latina, the 62nd Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights is set to convene in Geneva on March 20th. By that time, it is expected that world media will have broadcast new video footage of the U.S. military torturing Iraqi prisoners.

Following closely on the heels of the Russian action, the New York Times reports that torture continued both before and after the closure of Abu Ghraib.

In the windowless, jet-black garage-size room, some soldiers beat prisoners with rifle butts, yelled and spit in their faces and, in a nearby area, used detainees for target practice in a game of jailer paintball. Their intention was to extract information to help hunt down Iraq's most-wanted terrorist, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, according to Defense Department personnel who served with the unit or were briefed on its operations.
Signatories to "In Defense of Humanity" have meanwhile called on "world intellectuals, social organizations and anyone of good will" to demand that the United Nations order the closure of the U.S. base in Cuba.
Original 'Toon by Dante Lee. Use with permission only

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