DOS Fax from Debra Long to Ambassador Kevin Moley re: Letter from the Association for the Prevention of Torture

State Department fax from Debra Long the DOS UN & Legal Programme Officer to Amb. Moley forwarding a letter from the Association Against Torture to President Bush.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Sunday, May 8, 2005

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De-forn : Dabra Long I To Ambassador Kevin Moley
1 FaxN°:+ 4122-919 21 80 'Page /go: 3 :
Date :, 11 May 2004 IN/rOf : !Fax Ne 022 749 4880

Re: Open Letter to Heads of State of Coalition Forces In Iraq
Your Excellency,
Please find attached for your Information an open letter, which was sent today to your

Head of State.
Yours sincerely )
Debra Long .
UN & Legal Programme Officer


DATE/CASE ID: 24 MAR 2005 200303827
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• 11.Mil . 2004 18:12 APT +4122 919 21" 80 RELEASED IN FULL
'000 Mr. George W. Bush The President The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
8 S E Washington DC 20500
e, United Staten of America
Pour tr1.4 e
dot' I 'I May 2004

Dear President,
The Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) is appalled at the recent graphic evidence of allegations of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment • or punishment of Trani detainees by Coalition Forces, in putictilar of the USA and United Kingdom (UK). However, we are not surprised that abuses such as these have now come to light. They are symptomatic of the current climate wherein the rights of persons
•deprived of their liberty have been increasingly and systematically undermined. Political rhetoric in the fight Against terrorism has sown the seeds upon•vhich ill-treatment is borne and steps must be taken immediately to correct these wrongs and prevent their reOCCUrretICC.
These current cases in Iraq are a wake-up pall for all States and crucial lessons must be drawn from the revelations of these brutalities. The APT believes that torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment can occur anywhere in the world when there arc imulequatc controls in place to prevent such acts.
The ICRC report on the Coalition Forces' treatment of pentons held in Irate, highlights an alarming failure to provide certain necessary safeguards. The leek of appropriate training, inadequate systems of oversight and monitoring, a breakdown in the chain of command, coupled with a failure to investigate and to take action against the perpetrators created an atmosphere of impunity and an =vit. ,onment within which abuse could all too easily occur.
Therefore, it is timely for the APT to recall some of the measures that should be taken and controls put in place, by all States, to effectively prevent torture and other forms of ill­treatment, not only in Iraq, but in any given context:

Condemnation It is essential that all States and their leaders condemn in absolute terms acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, or punishment. It must be made clear that under international law such acts can never be justified or tolerated under any circumstances.

Accountability in order to combat impunity, all allegations of torture and other forms of ill-treatment Int= be investigated promptly and impartially. Perpetrators must be brought to justice in proceedings compatible with international standards of fair trials. Victims or their fa milies must also receive app. update redress for the suffering caused.

• Guarantee fundamental safeguards DATE/CASE ID: 24 MAR 2005 200303827 International humanitarian and human rightn law impose upon States a. range of
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obligations to ensure the right to be frpot frtwri tet•e4/~ 04.A
DOS 002996

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11.41. 2004 18:12.APT +4122 919 21 90 105388.P. 3/3
Regular monitoring of places of detention by external, independent bodies is one of the
most effective means to prevent these types of abuses from occurring. Visits enable
independent experts to examine, at first hand, the treatment of persons deprived of their
liberty and conditions of detention. Many problems stem from inadequate Procedures,
which can be improved through regular monitoring.

Yet, as shown by the limited impact the IOW was allowed to have so far in Iraq, visits are
only effective if there is a corresponding willingness by appropriate authorities in charge
ofdetained persona to make use of this preventive instru.ment. Pull cooperation means that
governments give access to all places and persons et any time and also that the highest
authorities give immediate attention 20 the reports and subsequently initiate investigation
of the allegations and implement the recommendations_ Further, the authorities need to
demonstrate their respect for the independence of the visiting mechanisms,

Stales are urged to ratify the new Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture,
which provides for a system of regular international and national visits to places of
detention in order to prevent torture and other forms of ill-treatment. So far only Malta,
Albania and the UK have become State Parties.

• Training and promotion of professionalism
All persons in charge of or involved with the care of persons deprived of their liberty must
receive appropriate training in international humanitarian and human rights law. Training
will help to pruAnote professionalism amongst the law enforcement, security or military
personnel, which, coupled with an effective chain of command, will assist in creating an
environment wherein sarepards for the rights of persons deprived of their liberty are
respected. in the present Iraq context, the !CRC would appear to be ideally placed to assist
in the provision of this training and advice.

Taken together, these measures will help to create a culture of prevention within places of
detention throughout the world. Recent atrocities iri Iraq have shown that it is dearly time
for States, including the Coalition Forces, to take the rights of all persons deprived of their
liberty far more seriously, especially within the current context of the fight against

The APT remains ready to assist States that are sincere about preventing torture. We would welcome your response to the concerns and proposals raised in this letter, which has been sent to all the political leaders of the Coalition Forces with army or police in Iraq.
Yours sincerely
• Marco Mona President
DOS 002997