January 11, 2013, marks the 11th anniversary of the day detainees were first brought to the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The National Defense Authorization Act 2013 (NDAA) recently passed by Congress and signed by President Obama does little to shut down the Guantanamo prison, though the President had promised to close it almost four years ago.
Uzbekistan, already notorious for its deplorable prison conditions and abuse of prisoners, has one prison that stands out more gruesome and horrific than the rest: Jaslyk Prison. Its prisoners, at least those lucky enough to live to tell their tales, have described the myriad methods of torture used at the prison, including sexual assault, needles forced under prisoners’ fingernails, electric shock, and long periods of isolation in solitary confinement without food or drink.
United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Juan Méndez, is currently visiting Tajikistan to assess measures taken by the Tajik government to bring its torture prohibition legislation into compliance with international standards.
Burmese detainees can be subjected to physical and psychological torture, regardless of age, sex, or the official charges held against them. In some cases, this torture has occurred before official charges have been made.
On February 15-16 stakeholders from around the world will gather in DC to participate in the “Forensic Evidence in the Fight Against Torture” conference, co-sponsored by the International Council for Torture Victims and American University Washington College of Law.