US President urged to back full release of report on CIA interrogation abuses

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A general view of the Human Rights Council in session. Photo: Jean-Marc Ferré

The President of the United States is being urged by a group of UN human rights experts to support the release of a report on interrogation practices of the country's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The UN Office for Human Rights (OHCHR) said the experts wrote to President Barack Obama in an open letter, which was made public on Wednesday.

The letter says that the report conducted by a committee of 15 US Senators would have "far-reaching consequences for victims of human rights violations everywhere and for the credibility of the United States."

Launched in 2009, the Senate investigation lasted four years and examined millions of pages of CIA documents and emails.

Its release to the public was approved in April 2014 but it has yet to be made available, reportedly due to demands by the CIA that material be removed from the report.

OHCHR says that according to several members of the Senate's committee, the proposed cuts would prevent readers from fully understanding the pattern and extent of violations.

The UN experts are calling on President Obama to release the report in a form which will allow the public to understand the facts and to promote the right to truth for victims and their families.

The experts also commended President Obama for shutting down the CIA interrogation programme when he entered office and for recently acknowledging that the US had tortured detainees after the 11 September attacks.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration:  1’30″

 

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