U.S. News

Amnesty International condemns U.S. failure to act on torture report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Amnesty International on Tuesday accused President Barack Obama’s administration of granting “de facto amnesty” to people involved in a CIA program that detained and tortured militants captured after the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

The human rights group said that since the release in December of a Senate report on the use of what the Central Intelligence Agency called “enhanced interrogation techniques,” the administration had done nothing to end impunity for those who mistreated prisoners.

Amnesty researcher Naureen Shah said the administration was effectively granting immunity from prosecution by failing to thoroughly investigate conduct that came to light in the five-year investigation.

The Senate Intelligence Committee report found that the CIA misled the White House and the American people over a program that involved torturing al Qaeda and other captives in secret facilities worldwide between 2002 and 2006.

Amnesty released a critique of the investigation and the official response, entitled “USA Crimes and Impunity,” which accused the Obama administration of trying to sweep the report and crimes committed under the program “under the carpet.”

It said the Justice Department must “reopen and expand its investigation” into the CIA’s secret rendition, detention and interrogation program.

U.S. authorities also must “bring to justice in fair trials all the persons, regardless of their level of office or former level of office, suspected of being involved in the commission of crimes under international law, such as torture and enforced disappearance,” the group said.

Amnesty demanded the White House and other U.S agencies disclose the names, locations and dates of operations of all secret prisons operated by the CIA in the program.

It also asked for the disclosure of the names of all detainees held by U.S. authorities under the program and the identity of militants held at the U.S. government’s behest by foreign governments.

Shah said the U.S. Justice Department had told journalists it had reviewed the Senate committee report and found no new evidence that U.S. criminal laws were violated.

Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by David Storey