Saturday, April 18, 2009

Scott Horton
The following interview with Prof. Manfred Nowak, U.N. Rapporteur for Torture, appears in the print edition of today's DER STANDARD (Vienna). I have rendered the interview into English.
STANDARD: CIA torturers are according to U.S. President Obama not to be prosecuted. Is that decision supportable?

Nowak: Absolutely not. The United States has, like all other Contracting Parties to the UN Convention Against Torture, committed itself to investigate instances of torture and to prosecute all cases in which credible evidence of torture is found. This would be the same for Austria: we could not simply, or not without violating the Convention, say "but for certain instances of torture we have decided to make an exception, there will be no prosecutions."

STANDARD: In other words, by making this announcement, Obama has violated international law?

Nowak: Correct. It is a violation of binding international treaty law in this case, because this is an international law convention - and it provides unequivocally that states are not merely obligated to make torture a crime, but also to prosecute any incidents of which credible evidence can be found.

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