AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL USA PUBLIC STATEMENT January 5, 2006
Amnesty International USA Cites Great Concern Over President Bush’s Undermining of New Anti-Torture Law
Amnesty International USA today expressed great concern over the President’s official “signing statement” providing his interpretation of law in the Department of Defense appropriations bill which was intended to reaffirm the absolute prohibition on cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. The amendment was adopted overwhelmingly by the House and Senate to close all legal loopholes that might have allowed the U.S. government to engage in interrogation tactics that, individually or in combination, amount to torture and inhuman treatment. We are deeply disappointed that in the “signing statement,” the President chose to undermine long-standing U.S. policies against torture by asserting what amounts to a waiver on the prohibition on cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
The use of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment are firmly unlawful under U.S. federal statutes and international law. Amnesty International USA calls on President Bush to publicly withdraw his signing statement and reaffirm the United States’ opposition to acts that amount to torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Further, Amnesty International USA calls on President Bush to support the establishment of a fully independent and impartial commission to investigate all allegations of torture and inhuman treatment by agents of the U.S. government around the world and prevent such acts from recurring in the future.