NEW YORK – Amnesty International released a report today criticizing the Obama administration’s silence in the wake of the Senate torture report, calling it de facto amnesty for those responsible for CIA torture. The government inaction following the December publication of the summary report on the CIA’s secret detention program is outlined in detail in the new report, Crimes and Impunity. The document also highlights the lack of accountability for enforced disappearance and the failure to recompense victims of the CIA’s programs.
“It is not enough to admit that ‘We tortured some folks’ as President Obama did last August, and then move on,” said Steven W. Hawkins, executive director of Amnesty International USA. “Unless the U.S. government makes a concerted effort to end the impunity associated with this secret detention program, the United States’ human rights record will remain tarnished.”
Four months after the declassification of the report summary, the U.S. administration has yet to take any meaningful steps toward ending the impunity associated with this secret detention program. Instead, they have effectively buried the Senate report, leaving the door open for similar programs in the future. Additionally, representatives of the U.S. Department of Justice have gone on record saying that no one has read the still-classified full report, instead leaving its CD copies of the report unread in a secure facility.
“The Obama administration can’t just sweep the Senate torture report under the rug,” said Naureen Shah, director of Amnesty Internaional USA’s Security and Human Rights Program. “The torture program was calculated, unlawful and known about on almost every level of government. As long as the United States’ use of torture remains unchallenged, the whole point of the 6,700-page Senate report is lost."
Amnesty International is calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to reopen and expand the limited review of CIA interrogations it closed down in 2012 without anyone being charged. This time it must ensure a thorough investigation into the CIA secret detention, rendition and interrogation programs with a view to bringing to justice all those suspected of being involved in torture and enforced disappearance.
The report can be found at: www.amnestyusa.org/research/reports/crimes-and-impunity