Washington: US President George W Bush has signed an executive order banning the use of torture of suspected terrorists in the Central Intelligence Agency’s detention and interrogation programme.
The order, a copy of which was released by the White House on 20 July 2007, says that the CIA programme whose existence Bush confirmed in September 2006 must abide by Common Article 3 of the Geneva conventions on wartime detainees.
“I hereby determine that Common Article 3 shall apply to a programme of detention and interrogation operated by the Central Intelligence Agency as set forth in this section,” Bush said in the order.
In a separate statement, Bush spokesman Tony Snow said that the order barred “cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment” and “acts of violence serious enough to be considered comparable to murder, torture, mutilation, and cruel and inhuman treatment.”
“It also prohibits willful and outrageous acts of personal abuse done for the purpose of humiliating or degrading the individual in a manner so serious that any reasonable person, considering the circumstances, would deem the acts beyond the bounds of human decency.”
“And the order forbids acts intended to denigrate detainees’ religion, religious practices, or religious objects,” said Snow.
CIA director Michael Hayden told agency employees in a statement that the order was necessary in order to make sure that the detention and interrogation problem followed recent US Supreme Court rulings.