Geneva, March 4, 2017: Today a UN official stated, the defence of torture that President Donald Trump has been promoting has set a precedent for other countries to follow, even if the US refrains from acting on it.
UN rights rapporteur Ben Emmerson told reporters in Geneva, “Trump’s support for waterboarding and other such techniques shows a staggering level of ill-preparedness to govern. We are in a situation where we have the first ever democratically elected head of state in the world who positively advocates torture.”
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According to PTI report, He also said, “And that is a state of affairs which lays down a gauntlet, it lays down a precedent. It enables other states to point… And to say well … Why shouldn’t we?”
Days after his inauguration, Trump said days he believes waterboarding and other techniques which are widely seen as torture “absolutely” work, but whether to reinstate them or not would defer to his CIA and Pentagon chiefs.
Emmerson said, “That statement in itself, never mind whether it is implemented, in itself, has undermined the international prohibition on torture.”
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He also managed to add that it has thereby “elevated the risk that suspects will be tortured producing unreliable, often useless intelligence,” and the risk of terrorism has been increased in response.
Emmerson, the UN’s rapporteur on guarding rights and freedoms while countering terrorism, had lashed out at Trump in a speech yesterday.
To hear the new US leader “glibly extolling the virtues of torture as a weapon in the right against terrorism… Was enough to make my blood run cold,” he said, “It shows a staggering level of ill-preparedness to govern.
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Emmerson feels the Re-introduction of waterboarding “for reasons of jingoistic populism” would “fuel the resentments that stoke the risk of terrorism.” He added, “All this leaves one wondering whether lasting progress in this field is ever going to be possible.”
The British UN official was interacting with media at the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council which is currently underway in Geneva.
– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang