USA: Amnesty International Condemns Watering Down of the DOJ Report

Press Release
February 20, 2010

USA: Amnesty International Condemns Watering Down of the DOJ Report

Amnesty International Media Statement
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Amnesty International Condemns Watering Down of the DOJ Report

Contact: AIUSA media relations office, 202-509-8634

(Washington) – Tom Parker, Amnesty International USA's policy director for terrorism, counterterrorism and human rights, issued the following statement in response to Friday night's release of the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) report on the quality of legal advice provided by attorneys John Yoo, Jay Bybee and Steven Bradbury regarding to detainee treatment:

"While Amnesty International welcomes the long overdue release of the OPR report, it is deeply disappointing that the original findings of the report were diluted prior to release."

"Once again, Americans see key players in one of the darkest chapters in United States’ recent history squirm their way out of trouble with no consequences. The sanitizing of the OPR report provides further troubling evidence that U.S. government officials are not held accountable for their actions."

"Concocting a legal opinion authorizing torture goes far beyond 'poor judgment.' Yoo and Bybee ignored established U.S precedent and international legal obligations to craft a golden shield for the most heinous of human rights abuses. This is not an embarrassing legal faux pas – this amounts to complicity in torture and merits much more than the mild-mannered rebuke contained in this report."

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.2 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

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For more information, please go to www.amnestyusa.org .