Survivors of torture have a right to redress and accountability. The UN Convention Against Torture, which the U.S. has ratified, sets this out in no uncertain terms. And yet, Senior Judge Harry Edwards told ACLU attorney for the plaintiffs, Cecillia Wang, “You can’t prevail under the law of the circuit... It’s not your fault. That’s what the law of the circuit is.”
A federal appeals court in Washington appears poised to uphold the dismissal of a suit that alleges government torture in Afghanistan and in Iraq of nine civilians who claim they were beaten, burned and shocked before being released without charges.
When we talk about closing the gaps between international human rights standards and U.S. laws, this is what we mean.