London – US President Donald Trump’s declaration that “torture works” is a complete denial of the truth and is a dangerous facilitator of further human rights abuses in the name of the War on Terror, and further violence.
Even CIA officials stated in the Senate Report on Torture, released in redacted form in 2014, that torture either produced no intelligence, or [victims] “fabricated information, resulting in faulty intelligence”.
The illegal torture and rendition of prisoners has never ceased, however. A case in point is that of Mahdi Hashi, who was deprived of his UK citizenship then ‘rendered’ to the US from Djibouti and placed under Special Administrative Measures, before being sentenced last year to nine years. This, after experiencing conditions described as torture by the UN. Prosecutors said they had no evidence Hashi engaged in violence.
Because Obama did not bring torturers to account, the US government and security services are filled with people who are willing to violate international law with impunity. No doubt individuals within government intelligence agencies, such as the CIA and others, will react with enthusiasm to his statements, while their actions will continue to fuel further violence.
Moazzam Begg, CAGE Outreach Director, said:
“President Trump would do well to remember the case of Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi. Al-Libi’s torture and subsequent false confession which lead directly to the US justification for the invasion of Iraq and its disintegration as a sovereign state. The emergence of al-Qaeda in Iraq and its incremental transition into Islamic State is a consequence even Obama has admitted.”
“IS members dressed their captives in orange suits and allegedly waterboarded them. Where did they learn that from? Waterboarding is torture and torture is a crime, no matter who carries it out. The outrage should be that no one’s been prosecuted for it.”
“The publicising of torture combined with the lack of accountability for it, leads to a fear-based society where Muslims and others who speak against the system are pacified, and even cajoled into towing the line in the ‘War on Terror’. Trump is only adding fuel to fire.”
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)