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26 October, 2007

Attorneys expose US administration's claims about prisoner abuse

“Administration of Torture: A Documentary Record from Washington to Abu Ghraib and Beyond” by Jameel Jaffer and Amrit Singh, Staff Attorneys working with the American Civil Libertises Union, exposes the Bush administration’s record of torture of prisoners in the Unites States’ overseas detention centres.

The book, published by the Columbia University Press on September 18, 2007, is based on documents obtained by ACLU under the Freedom of Information Act. When the US media provided photographic evidence of the Abu Ghraib brutalities, the administration claimed that abuses were isolated incidents and promised to bring the perpetrators to book. Action was initiated against some soldiers, but the administration maintained that they were sadists who acted on their own ignoring orders.

This book demolishes the administration’s attempt to distance itself from the human rights violations. It shows that abuse of prisoners was pervasive in US detention facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, besides Abu Ghraib. What’s more, senior officials endorsed the abuse of prisoners as a matter of policy.

Jameel Jaffer is director of ACLU’s National Security Program. Amrit Singh, who is attached to ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, is the youngest daughter of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. She graduated from Yale Law School in 2001.

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