US to be called to account over Bush-era CIA terrorism programme

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Ben Emmerson

The United States has been told to release the findings of a report into the Bush-era CIA programme of secret detention, rendition and torture of terrorist suspects. Ben Emmerson, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms While Countering Terrorism, told the Human Rights Council in Geneva that those involved in 'unlawful actions' carried out by the Bush-era CIA must be held accountable, and to that end, he said a US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report into the CIA programme must now be made public.

“Many of the States involved, including of course the United States, have made strenuous efforts over the past decade to keep their involvement in the CIA programme of international crimes hidden from public scrutiny. But despite the care with which this wall of silence has been so painstakingly erected, it has not proved to be impenetrable.”

Mr Emmerson said there should be no impunity for public officials implicated in the CIA programme.

“The case is steadily building for the adoption of a comprehensive strategy to secure public accountability for the past, and to bringing to justice those officials within the US, Europe and elsewhere, that were complicit in this global network of crimes. The calls for the past to be confronted are fast approaching a critical mass.”

Mr Emmerson also called on the United Kingdom to publish the interim report of an inquiry set up to consider whether, and to what extent, the UK Government and its security and intelligence agencies were involved in, or aware of, the improper treatment or rendition of detainees held by other countries in counter terrorism operations outside the UK.

Nicki Chadwick, UN Radio, Geneva

Duration: 1’49″

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