Amanda Simon, Amnesty International USA, 212-633-4162, [email protected]
In response to the U.S. government's recognition today in Geneva before the UN that the Convention Against Torture applies at Guantánamo, Zeke Johnson, Director of Amnesty International USA's Individuals at Risk Program, issued the following statement:
"Acknowledging at last the long established reality that UNCAT applies at Guantánamo is certainly a welcome move, however late in the day. That said, the USA has still to come a long way before meeting its obligations under the anti-torture Convention. We have seen what happens when a government fails in this regard – as with the USA’s resort to torture and enforced disappearance at ‘black sites’ under the previous administration.
"Essential further steps would be to make crystal clear that it is bound by the Convention everywhere it exercises effective control, to fully implement the absolute prohibition on torture and other ill-treatment as contained in the Convention and to immediately withdraw its reservations to the treaty, as well as to finally ensure full accountability and redress. Anything less falls short.”
For background, please see Amnesty International's submission on the USA to the Committee Against Torture: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AMR51/049/2014/en/6a07f2d0-18e0-4cd1-b158-c6c9cac6cbdb/amr510492014en.pdf