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Extraordinary interrogations unacceptable, U.N. says

  |   March 12, 2014 at 1:03 PM
GENEVA, Switzerland, March 12 (UPI) -- It is duplicitous for governments to condemn torture while at the same time accepting what it produces, the U.N. special envoy on torture said from Switzerland.

Juan Mendez, the U.N. special envoy on torture, said Wednesday in Geneva he was frustrated with dueling rhetoric on the use of torture. He said there was no place for abusive behavior, even if it's used under the guise of protecting national security.

"Any use of torture-tainted information, even if the torture has been committed by agents of another state, is an act of acquiescence in torture that compromises the user state's responsibility," he said in a statement.

A February report from a U.N. Commission of Inquiry on North Korea said "extermination, murder, enslavement [and] torture" were part of state policies.

The U.S. government was criticized for its use of so-called extraordinary interrogation tactics to get information from terrorist suspects, though the practice extends to other Western governments.

"This absolute and non-derogable prohibition [of torture] also applies to collecting, sharing and receiving torture-tainted information between states during intelligence gathering or covert operations," the special envoy said.

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