Torture, Detention and Transfer
In preparation for the United States’ appearance for its second Universal Periodic Review in May 2015 under the auspices of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Human Rights Institute and New York University’s Global Justice Clinic co-wrote and distributed a paper calling on foreign government representatives participating in the UPR to emphasize the United States’ international legal obligations to compensate those persons it secretly detained and tortured as part of the CIA’s rendition, detention, and interrogation (RDI) program.
Read the Human Rights Institute and Global Justice Clinic paper.
The Institute played an important role in research and advocacy related to detention and transfer of terrorism suspects. We are a leader in research and advocacy on diplomatic assurances, which are guarantees of humane treatment the U.S. government seeks when transferring detainees to foreign governments with records of inhumane detention conditions or torture.
In December 2010, HRI published two reports: Promises to Keep: Diplomatic Assurances Against Torture in U.S. Terrorism Transfers, a comprehensive source on the evolving practice and jurisprudence of assurances, and Monitoring Detainee Transfers in Afghanistan, providing concrete guidance to the U.S. and allied governments on how to deter and prevent abuse of detainees they transfer to Afghan custody, based on human right standards.
Building on these reports, the institute has taken a leading role in government advocacy, pressing for reform in meetings and correspondence with the U.S. State Department, military personnel and congressional staff.
Read the report Promises to Keep: Diplomatic Assurances in US Terrorism Transfers.
Read the briefing paper Monitoring Detainee Transfers in Afghanistan.
Watch the roundtable discussion on diplomatic assurances (Feb. 10, 2011) featuring Felice Gaer, member of the U.N. Committee Against Torture, and leading experts.
Read Freedom of Information Act disclosures on assurances obtained jointly with the ACLU.
Read They Can't Go Home Again, on the fate of two Tajik detainees at Guantanamo sent to possible torture based on assurances (Jurist, February, 2011)
Read Don't Deliver Afghans to Torture on a Promise Alone, on torture faced by detainees sent to Afghan NDS camps by Australian forces (Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, National Times Online, January, 2011)