Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Rep. Markey: 'Backdoor Mechanisms to Create a Blackhole for Prisoners Must End'

WASHINGTON, Nov. 2 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following statement was released today by Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), in response to news reports of a network of secret prisons that are currently operated and maintained by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Little is known about these prisons, also known as "black sites", except that "the CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe...", according to today's Washington Post. Rep. Markey has been an outspoken critic of the practice of sending prisoners out of the U.S. to a network of secret prisons worldwide.

"This Administration is shaming our nation by seeking back door mechanisms to skirt our obligations to prevent torture," said Rep. Markey. "We cannot play games and devise creative legalisms to dodge our obligation to the U.N. Convention Against Torture, but that is exactly what Vice President Cheney and this Administration are determined to do. We must shut down this black hole for prisoners in which torture is allowed to thrive."

Representative Markey is organizing a group of lawmakers urging the House of Representatives to accept an amendment to the Defense Appropriations Act that would establish clear guidelines for interrogating prisoners captured in war zones or counter- terrorism operations. Currently 57 House members have signed a letter in support of the McCain amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill which would clarify that cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment could not be used against any prisoner in U.S. custody, and the Markey amendment, which bars funds from being spent in contravention of the Convention Against Torture and certain laws and regulations aimed at implementing the Convention's prohibition against the transfer or rendition of prisoners to countries which practice torture.

Rep. Markey is the author of the Outsourcing Torture Prevention Act, a bill which would prohibit the practice of sending prisoners overseas to a network of prisons. He has also attached amendments to several appropriations bills to bar funds from being spent in contravention of the Convention Against Torture. For more information about his work to end extraordinary rendition and a copy of the letter from House Members check out:


Blogger Steve O'Keefe said...

This is just freaking outrageous! How in the world can the Bush Administration defend the use of torture? Boston University professer Charles Derber has been hammering on this topic all week at a new current affairs blog called Blog BK Currents. I hope you'll check it out and give the professors blogging there some encouragement. Thanks.

5:41 PM  

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