Thursday, October 12, 2006

What Is Lost, take 2

Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions forbids torture, degrading and humiliating treatment of prisoners. It also mandates that proper judicial procedures be followed in trying and sentencing prisoners.

Article 5 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights: No one shall be subjected to torture, or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 7 of the same: All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law.

Article 9 of the same: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10 of the same: Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation.

There are also articles forbidding arbitrary arrest and mandating fair trials and to prompt hearings so that a court may decide without delay the lawfulness of his detention and order his release if the detention is illegal.

Finally, for now, there is the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment:

Part I
Article 1
  1. For the purposes of this Convention, the 'term' torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful actions.

Article 3
  1. No State Party shall expel, return ('refouler') or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.
It is the obligation of the State to punish torturers—a group that includes those who order torture. There is no disagreement over what constitutes torture. The Bushies have declared themselves torturers and practice that vile "art" in defiance of all human decency and international treaty. Along the way they have violated other fundamental human rights and tried to immunize themselves against prosecution. They must be brought to justice before the U.S. can rejoin the world community from the ranks of rogue states the Bushies have had it join.

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