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.
Last week, Human Rights USA (HRUSA) and the International Human Rights Clinic at Washington College of Law, American University released their much-awaited report, “Indefensible: A Reference for Prosecuting Torture and Other Felonies.”
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.
This December marks the 10-year anniversary of the “Convoy of Death.” During Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, 2,000 prisoners who had surrendered to the US and the Afghan Northern Alliance were shot or suffocated to death in sealed truck containers while being transferred by Northern Alliance forces. The dead prisoners – some of who had been tortured - were then buried in a mass grave in a northern Afghanistan desert at Dasht-e-Leili.
Earlier this week, Gambian lawyer Fatou Bensouda was chosen to be the new Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court. She will be the second person, and the first African, to hold this position. Bensouda was the likely choice for the position given her professional qualifications, including serving as Deputy Prosecutor to Luis Moreno-Ocampo during his nine-year tenure as Chief Prosecutor of the Court. Given the extent of the ICC’s work in Africa – all seven of the countries with cases before the court are African – the choice of an African prosecutor seems especially appropriate.