USA: Concern over General Mattis' 'murky and conflicting views on human rights'

‘If confirmed, General Mattis would wield tremendous power, including the ability to order torture and flood Guantanamo with new detainees held without charge’ - Naureen Shah

Responding to reports that President-elect Donald Trump’s intends to nominate General James Mattis to serve as Secretary of Defense, Naureen Shah, Director of Amnesty USA’s Security with Human Rights Programme, said:

“General Mattis’ murky and conflicting views on human rights raise serious questions that must be answered during his confirmation process.

“If confirmed, General Mattis would wield tremendous power, including the ability to order torture and flood Guantanamo with new detainees held without charge. General Mattis has said that those at Guantanamo should be held indefinitely – even though nearly all have been held without charge for more than a decade. However, he is reported to have rejected torture as a useful method of interrogation in conversations with President-elect Trump.

“The US cannot hold the moral high ground and will never be seen as leader on human rights if it returns to torture and continues to hold people indefinitely without charge. During the confirmation process, General Mattis must clarify these contradictory statements and commit to safeguarding human rights.

“We have real concerns about human rights in a Trump administration, and we will demand that the Senate press General Mattis about his specific views and positions.”

 

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