A Religious Liberal Blog

This site hopefully can provide some vehicle by which I can comment, complain, and once in a while praise the state of religion in this country and around the world from a liberal protestant perspective.

Friday, June 17, 2005

According to Amnesty International's report on US treatment of prisoners in Guantanamo and other prisons around the world the following practices have been used against prisoners: Abduction, Barbed wire, forced to walk barefoot on, Blindfolding "Burking" – hand over detainee’s mouth/nose to prevent breathing, Cell extraction, brutal/punitive use Chemical/pepper spray,

Misuse of Cigarette burns, Claustrophia-inducing techniques, e.g. tied headfirst in sleeping bag, shut in lockers. Death threats, Dietary manipulation, Dogs used to threaten and intimidate, Dousing in cold water, Electric shocks, threats of electric shocks, Exposure to weather and temperature extremes, especially via air-conditioning, Flags, wrapped in Israeli or US flags during or prior to interrogation, Food and water deprivation, Forced shaving, ie of head, body or facial hair, Forcible injections, including with unidentified substances,

Ground, forced to lie on bare ground while agents stand on back or back of legs, Hooding, Hostage-taking, i.e. individuals detained to force surrender of relatives, Humiliation, eg forced crawling, forced to make animal noises, being urinated upon, Immersion in water to induce perception of drowning, Incommunicado detention, Induced perception of suffocation or asyphxiation, Light deprivation, Loud music, noise, yelling, Mock execution, Photography and videoing as humiliation,

Physical assault, eg punching, kicking, beatings with hands, hose, batons, guns, etc, Physical exercise to the point of exhaustion, e.g. "ups and downs", carrying rocks Piling, i.e. detainee is sat on or jumped on by one or more people ("dog/pig pile"), Prolonged interrogations, eg 20 hours, Racial and religious taunts, humiliation, Relatives, denial of access to, excessive censorship of communications with,Religious intolerance, eg disrespect for Koran, religious rituals,

Secret detention, Secret transfer,Sensory deprivation, Sexual humiliation, Sexual assault Shackles and handcuffs, excessive and cruel use of. Includes "short shackling", Sleep adjustment, Sleep deprivation, Solitary confinement for prolonged periods, eg months or more than a year, Stress positions, eg prolonged forced kneeling and standing, Stripping, nudity, excessive or humiliating use of, Strip searches, Excessive or humiliating use of, Strobe lighting,

Suspension, with use of handcuffs/shackles, Threat of rape, Threats of reprisals against relatives, Threat of transfer to third country to inspire fear of torture or death, Threat of transfer to Guantánamo. Threats of torture or ill-treatment, Twenty-four hour bright lighting, Withdrawal of "comfort items", including religious items, Withholding of information, e.g. not telling detainee where he is, Withholding of medication, Withholding of toilet facilities, leading to defecation and urination in clothing

Does this upset the right? No, they are upset that Senator Dick Durbin had the temerity to say that these actions are not rightly done by democratic societies, that these are the actions we typically associate with totalitarian regimes and the gulags. Amnesty International has come under attack from the White House for identifying this problem. Red Cross has been under fire for bringing out the documentation behind the mistreatment.

But the right's attacks on the messenger and not on the torture itself destroys any claims they may have to moral authority. It sadly raises the issue, both with the religious as well as the secular right: Are they against torture? Has this become a partisan issue? Honestly? Until we take seriously the proposition that all people are of God, and therefore worthy of basic human rights, any claims to the religious or the moral will be nothing but a lie.


At 9:55 AM , Blogger Elizabeth said...

wow. mind boggling, isn't it?

At 8:13 AM , Blogger gratefulbear said...

Thank you for this important post. I've provided a link to this on my own blog, in the post titled "State of the Union."



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