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On US Torture Report, UN Tells ICP Ban Has No Comment, Do UNSC Members?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 9 -- After the much anticipated US torture report was released, and US Senator Diane Feinstein had spoken on the Senate floor on the morning of December 9, at the day's UN noon briefing in New York Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric for a comment from Ban Ki-moon, which was expected.

But Dujarric said that there was no comment, that the UN was following it. Video here, and embedded below. There was no comment on, for example, a torture victim being chained naked to a cement floor and dying of hypothermia.

This silence from Ban Ki-moon continued throughout December 9, even as he issued read-outs with the Saudi oil minister, for example.

The UN Security Council churned on -- UN Peacekeeping chief refused to answer a simple Inner City Press question as he left the Council, here -- even with some of the countries which hosted “black sites” for torture members of the Council.

An Amnesty International representative said that countries that are members of the International Criminal Court, which hosted such sites, could be acted against by the Court. UN expert Ben Emmerson chimed in, calling for prosecutions:

the summary of the Feinstein report which was released this afternoon confirms what the international community has long believed - that there was a clear policy orchestrated at a high level within the Bush administration, which allowed to commit systematic crimes and gross violations of international human rights law.. The identities of the perpetrators, and many other details, have been redacted in the published summary report but are known to the Select Committee and to those who provided the Committee with information on the program... Torture is a crime of universal jurisdiction. The perpetrators may be prosecuted by any other country they may travel to. However, the primary responsibility for bringing them to justice rests with the US Department of Justice and the Attorney General.”

But still, from Ban Ki-moon, silence. Watch this site.


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