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Ten Questions: #8

Larry Siems,
The Torture Report
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December 9, 2010

When the United States appeared before the U.N. to defend its human rights record, State Department legal advisor Harold Koh assured the world that the U.S. had “thoroughly investigated” alleged abuses of detainees in U.S. custody, and that “appropriate corrective action has been taken.” Koh also asserted that the Justice Department’s initial investigation into torture was actively looking into allegations of abuse by the CIA and other civilian agencies.

Drawing largely from material that has been covered in, we have come up with 10 follow-up questions for the U.S. about its compliance with domestic and international prohibitions against torture.

Maher Arar and Khaled El-Masri were concededly innocent individuals mistakenly swept up into the CIA’s rendition program. Canada has publicly acknowledged the mistake and partially compensated Maher Arar for its role in his torture, and a case is proceeding against Macedonia at the European Court of Human Rights for collaborating with the United States in the rendition and torture of Khaled El Masri. By contrast, in the United States , Arar’s and El Masri’s lawsuits have been thrown out of court before ever getting to the merits. What investigations have been conducted in the United States into their torture, and who has been held accountable?

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