Afghanistan, Germany condemn CIA torture

Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani (C) speaks to the media during an event in Kabul December 10, 2014.

Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani (C) speaks to the media during an event in Kabul December 10, 2014.

Afghanistan’s newly-elected President Ashraf Ghani condemned United States actions as revealed in a senate report on the CIA’s interrogation techniques, branding them a violation “all accepted principles of human rights,” Agence France-Presse reported.

“The Afghan government condemns these inhumane actions in the strongest terms,” he said during a press conference convened to address the release of the report at the presidential palace in Kabul.

“There can be no justification for these kinds of actions and inhumane torture in today’s world.”

Additionally, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein said on Wednesday that there should be no impunity or statute of limitations for torture following the U.S. Senate report released on Bush-era crimes against security detainees.

Separately, Germany also condemned the findings in the report calling them a “gross violation of our liberal, democratic values.”

While condemning the findings in the report, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier praised President Barack Obama’s administration for declassifying the information, calling it a transparent move that marked a clear break with his predecessor George W. Bush.

“What was then considered right and done in the fight against Islamist terrorism was unacceptable and a serious mistake,” he said.

“Such a gross violation of our liberal, democratic values must not happen again,” he was quoted as telling the Thursday edition of the top-selling Bild newspaper.

The U.S. Senate said in a report that CIA torture of Al-Qaeda suspects was far more brutal than acknowledged and failed to produce useful intelligence.

The report was published as U.S.-led NATO forces prepare to end their combat mission in Iraq.

Ghani said he convened the press conference to “talk to my countrymen tonight is to explain our position on that report released by the U.S. Senate.”

“This is a vicious cycle. When a person is tortured in an inhumane way, the reaction will be inhumane. And thus a vicious cycle of action and reaction is created.”

One of the “black sites” mentioned in the report, where practices such as “rectal feeding” and suspending inmates by the wrists, was a facility known as the “Salt Pit,” located outside Afghanistan’s Bagram Air Base.

“Unfortunately this report shows that our Afghan countrymen have been subjected to torture and their rights violated,” Ghani said.

“Worse and even more painful is that it has been explained in this report that some of these people subjected to torture were completely innocent and it has been proven that they were innocent.”

Separately, ex-Polish president Aleksander Kwasniewski said he had allowed the CIA to operate a secret interrogation center in Poland while he was in office.

Speaking during a press conference in the Polish parliament, the former president said he did not know that prisoners were being tortured in these safe houses.

Asked if he had been aware of what happened in these centers, he said: “About what the CIA was doing? No. Inside the site, no.”


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