US obliged to go after CIA torturers, says UN monitor

April 18th, 2009 - 9:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Vienna, April 18 (DPA) The US would be in breach of international law if it does not prosecute CIA officials for torturing alleged terrorists, UN monitor on torture Manfred Nowak said in a newspaper interview published Saturday in Austria.
The UN Special Rapporteur on torture was reacting to the announcement by US President Barack Obama that CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) operatives who used harsh interrogation tactics authorised by the Bush administration should not be held responsible.

“Like all other contracting states to the UN convention against torture, the US has committed to conduct criminal investigations of torture and to bring all people to court against whom there is sound evidence,” the Austrian human rights expert was quoted as saying by the daily Der Standard.

Obama said CIA operatives were following the legal advice of the Bush-era Justice Department, and that “nothing will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past”.

Before bringing alleged torturers to court and compensating their victims, it was important that an independent entity investigate the matter, Nowak said.

The CIA has previously acknowledged submitting three terrorism suspects to a simulated drowning technique called waterboarding, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the Sep 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

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