British Government Compensates Men Detained at Guantánamo for Torture by U.S. Officials
This week, the British government announced it will pay millions in compensation to 16 men who were detained by U.S. forces at Guantánamo. These men say the British government knew that turning them over to the United States was tantamount to transferring them to torture, and should have stopped it.
The British government settled the men’s case for civil damages after British courts rejected government efforts to have the case dismissed, affirming that the rule of law and human rights cannot be swept aside by invocations of government secrecy and national security. In contrast, U.S. courts have failed to challenge President Bush’s insistence that nothing that happened under his watch was torture, and the Obama Justice Department’s insistence that even if U.S. officials tortured men formerly detained at Guantánamo, they are still owed nothing by the government.
“It’s grim irony that the British are paying compensation for torture by U.S. officials while the American press still vacillates over whether it was torture and former President Bush openly acknowledges he ordered it,” said CCR Senior Staff Attorney Wells Dixon.
Leili Kashani , CCR’s Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative Associate, said, “U.S. courts should follow the lead of British courts and reject government efforts to suppress information about the abuse and torture of men detained at Guantánamo and other off-shore prisons. Bush administration officials should not be able to brag about their crimes on national television without facing prosecution and accountability in the courts.”
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