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USA: Torture memo gives 'get out of jail free' card, says Amnesty

Amnesty International today responded to news that the US Department of Justice has released memos that provided the legal framework for the CIA’s use of waterboarding and other illegal interrogation methods.

Amnesty International UK Campaigns Director Tim Hancock said:

“With this statement, the US Department of Justice appears to have offered a ‘get-out-of-jail-free card’ to people involved in torture.

“Torture is never acceptable and those who conduct it should not escape justice. Torture is banned under international and US domestic laws, but those laws are only meaningful if they are enforced.

“It’s welcome that the remaining memos have been published. There will only be accountability where there is transparency, and President Obama rightly wants to draw a line under the human rights abuses of the ‘War on Terror’.

“But this is the wrong way to go about it. Brushing torture and rendition under the carpet will not provide closure –the facts should be brought out into the open through an independent commission of inquiry. Those who have broken the law – no matter what rank they hold - should be prosecuted under the law.”

For more media information contact the Amnesty International UK press office:
Neil Durkin, 020 7033 1547
Steve Ballinger, 020 7033 1548
Out of office hours: 07721 398984

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