Waterboarding

A former CIA man has spoken out about their use of waterboarding forcibly pouring water down a detainees throat to give the sensation that theyre drowning on terrorism suspects.

Heres a (simulated) clip of what this technique looks like:

Speaking on ABC News, John Kiriakou said that waterboarding was used when his CIA team questioned al-Qaeda suspect Abu Zubaydah. And he defended the technique, talking about how it got the suspect talking almost immediately.

This comes after the weekends news that video tapes of  Abu Zubaydahs interrogation reportedly involving waterboarding had been destroyed.

The CIA  tapes reportedly show his interrogation in 2002, after he was reportedly taken into custody  in  Pakistan  in  March  and  flown to a CIA black site in Thailand.   Reports say he was subjected to torture and ill-treatment  while being held in secret, incommunicado detention for three and a half years, including: forced nudity, extremes of cold, isolation, loud music; being kept for a prolonged period in a cage known  as a dog box, in which there was not enough room to stand; as wellas being subjected to the simulated drowning technique.

Lets be clear about this. Waterboarding is torture. Torture is illegal banned under international law. And the USA has a responsibility to fully investigate any allegations that its people have tortured detainees. And so this destruction of video evidence is an obstruction of justice. Not that the j-word has much meaning in Guantanamo and the USs various black sites.

Our Unsubscribe campaign aims to mobilise people against torture and other abuses in the war on terror join it here.

Also, two sickening stories of violence against women. First, ABC News (again) reports that Jamie Leigh Jones, a Texas woman says she was gang-raped by Halliburton/KBR co-workers in Baghdad, and the company and the US government are covering up the incident.

And Australia is in shock after a judge failed to pass a custodial sentence against nine men and boys who raped a ten-year-old aboriginal girl, saying that she probably consented. Unbelievable. The decision has, understandably, been appealed against and Queensland is now reviewing all cases of sexual assault in the remote Aboriginal community of Cape York. But how could it have happened in the first place?

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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