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Commentary :: Human Rights
BTL:Red Cross Report Documents Torture at Secret CIA Prisons
16 Apr 2009
BETWEEN THE LINES Syndicated Radio Newsmagazine
Red Cross Report Documents Torture at Secret CIA Prisons

Interview with Joanne Mariner, director of the Terrorism and Counterterrorism program, conducted by Scott Harris

The International Committee of the Red Cross issued a confidential report in 2007 on interrogation abuse that their monitors documented at U.S. CIA-run secret prisons. The report condemned America's treatment of 14 "high-value" terrorist suspect detainees held at so-called "black sites," as inhuman, violating U.S. and international law. The report remained secret until it was made public in early April by writer and journalism professor Mark Danner on the New York Review of Books website.

The Red Cross noted that apart from subjecting prisoners to "waterboarding," U.S. interrogators, with the apparent authorization from the Bush administration, had exposed detainees to extreme temperatures, beaten them and deprived them of food. In addition prisoners had recounted how they were threatened with electric shock, infection with HIV/AIDS, sodomy and violence against family members.

Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon, who indicted Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet when he visited London in 1998, has launched a new investigation of 6 former Bush administration officials for their alleged criminal authorization of torture. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Joanne Mariner, director Human Rights Watch's Terrorism and Counter-terrorism Program. She discusses the importance of the Red Cross report and how it adds to the growing world-wide pressure on the Obama administration to open an investigation and prosecute Bush administration officials who may be guilty of war crimes.

Contact the Terrorism and Counterterrorism program at Human Rights Watch by calling (212) 290-4700 or visit their website at

Related links:

* "The Red Cross Torture Report: What It Means," by Mark Danner
* International Red Cross Report on the Treatment of Fourteen "High Value Detainees" in CIA Custody
* 100 Days to Restore the Constitution
* Amnesty International at
* ACLU at
* National Lawyers Guild at



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"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)
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Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions
©2009 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.
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