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Red Cross report details torture

April 6, 2009 at 10:54 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, April 6 (UPI) -- A confidential report by the International Committee of the Red Cross alleges that U.S. personnel, including medical officers, engaged in torture.

The report -- which was posted Monday on the Web site of the New York Review of Books -- is based on interviews conducted by the ICRC with so-called high-value detainees who were held and interrogated in secret overseas detention centers. The ICRC was given access to the detainees in 2006, and the confidential report -- portions of which had been leaked in recent weeks -- was dated Feb. 14, 2007.

The report alleges that medical officers sitting in on interrogations violated medical ethics and, in some instances, essentially participated in torture, The Washington Post reported Monday. In some cases, health officers supervised or assisted as suspected al-Qaida operatives were subjected to waterboarding, food deprivation and exposure to extreme temperatures.

The Red Cross found that detainees were held for up to four years in secret prisons, were frequently made to stand for several days in positions evidently intended to cause pain, and were threatened with "electric shocks, infection with HIV, sodomy of the detainee and … being brought close to death."

CIA officials have previously confirmed that three detainees were subjected to waterboarding, the Post noted, but CIA officials had no immediate comment on the ICRC report.

The ICRC report was posted by Mark Danner, an author and professor of journalism at the University of California at Berkeley and Bard College in New York.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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