United States of America

Press Release: UN Day for Victims of Torture: Government has still to end and repair torture policies - The Case of Mr. Mustafa al-Hawsawi at Guantanamo Bay

Geneva,Washington, 26 June 2015 - On the occasion of the UN Day for Victims of Torturethe leading global civil society coalition against torture calls for a full endto the torture policies with full accountability.

Until today the worlds leading democracy with a proudlegal system has been unwilling or unable to redress its torture policiesfollowing 9-11. This continues to set a dangerous crack in the internationalframework against torture. Accounting is not the same as accountability.

‘Far from being an issue of the ‘past’ the torturepolicies continue to be protected by a deliberate policy of laws andregulations designed to ensure that those subjected to this treatment areprevented from speaking out, seeking real remedies and accessing fundamentalrehabilitation services’.

The case ofMustafa al-Hawsawi:

Mustafa al-Hawsawi is a detainee at Guantanamo.Following his forced disappearance by the CIA in 2003, he was subjected tovarious forms of torture over lengthy periods. The U.S. Government hid his torture for 12 years. On 9 December 2014,the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released its reporton the CIA Torture Program[1] andrevealed that Mr. al Hawsawi is a victim of some of the most brutal acts oftorture imaginable, which he endured during his years in the CIA Torture Program.The torture included being sodomized during rectal exams conducted with“excessive force”[2]as a form of behavior control, and it resulted in a torn rectum, chronichemorrhoids, and a rectal prolapse that requires him, despite excruciatingpain, to reinsert exposed tissue back into his rectal cavity with his fingerswhen he defecates or strains.

Because the U. S. Government was intent on hiding historture from the world, Mr. al-Hawsawi has been denied the basic right ofrehabilitation under the Convention Against Torture[3], towhich the United States is bound and by which it must abide. Mr. al-Hawsawicontinues to suffer daily from the injuries inflicted upon him by the UnitedStates Government. As he continues under the total control, for more than 12years now, of the same Government that tortured him, Mr. al-Hawsawi still hasnot received adequate medical treatment or rehabilitation while imprisoned atGuantanamo Bay.

‘Torturedoes not end at the moment when the torturer stops abusing the victim. Torture,instead, ends at the moment when the victim no longer endures its physical orpsychological scars. Denying the right to an effective remedy and access to rehabilitationcontinues to violate the international prohibition of torture’, said the OMCT.

On 26 June 2015, International Day in Support ofVictims of Torture, the global community should speak out against denial of remediesand rehabilitation. One of the most cruel, humiliating, and degrading acts oftorture is actually an omission: mutilating a victim’s mind and body and then stepping back to allow andto watch the victim’s agony unabated, for years. The U. S. Government’s continuousdenial of rehabilitation to its victims is a denial of the rule of law. We askthat you call upon the U.S. Government to provide rehabilitation to Mr.al-Hawsawi, and all persons subjected to torture at its hands, by circulatingthis message at:

#RehabilitateHawsawiNow #Guantanamo #Torture

For more information on the case of Mr. Mustafaal-Hawsawi contact OMCT at omct@omct.org orhis legal defense team directly via walter.ruiz@osd.mil.

The OMCT wishes to thank theEuropean Commission for their financial support to the OMCT global campaign onJune 26 ‘nothing can justify torture under any circumstances’.

[1] Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Committee Study of the Central IntelligenceAgency’s Detention and Interrogation Program, 9 December 2014), available at: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/12/09/world/cia-torture-report-document.html?_r=0

[2] Ibid at page 100, FN 584.

[3] Convention against Torture and Other Cruel,Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, GA res. 39/46, annex, 39 UN GAOR Supp. (No.51) at 197, UN Doc. A/39/51 (1984); 1465 UNTS 85