Think Progress: UN Rapporteur On Torture: Obama’s Pledge Not To Pursue Torture Prosecutions At CIA Is Not Legal
When President Obama released the four of the Office of Legal Counsel’s (OLC) Bush-era torture memos last week, he issued a statement promising not to pursue torture prosecutions against CIA agents who relied on the memos to justify their use of torture tactics on terrorist suspects in U.S. custody. “It is our intention to assure those who carried out their duties relying in good faith upon legal advice from the Department of Justice that they will not be subject to prosecution,” Obama said. But in an interview with the Austrian newspaper Der Standard, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Professor Manfred Nowak, explained that Obama’s grant of immunity is likely a violation of international law.
Article 2 of the convention on torture explains that “no exceptional circumstances whatsoever”
can be used to legally justify torture. Further, the convention states
that an “order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.”