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UN Expert Urges US Not to Reinstate Waterboarding

"Any tolerance, complacence or acquiescence with such practice, however exceptional and well-argued, will inevitably lead down a slippery slope towards complete arbitrariness and brute force," Melzer cautioned.

IANS

Updated:January 31, 2017, 9:59 AM IST
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UN Expert Urges US Not to Reinstate Waterboarding
In this photo, reviewed by a U.S. Department of Defense official, a Guantanamo detainee's feet are shackled to the floor as he attends a "Life Skills" class inside the Camp 6 high-security detention facility at Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in this file pool photo taken April 27, 2010. REUTERS/Michelle Shephard/Pool/Files
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Geneva: The UN special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer appealed to US President Donald Trump not to reconsider the acceptability of waterboarding and other methods of torture used as interrogation techniques.

In a statement published on Monday, the UN expert stressed that without any doubt, waterboarding amounts to torture, Xinhua news agency reported.

"Any tolerance, complacence or acquiescence with such practice, however exceptional and well-argued, will inevitably lead down a slippery slope towards complete arbitrariness and brute force," Melzer cautioned.

"I urgently appeal to President Trump to carefully consider not only US legal obligations and tradition, but also the consolidated legal and moral views of the entire international community before allowing the re-introduction of methods or interrogation that are more closely associated with barbarism than with civilization," he added.

"If the new administration were to revive the use of torture, however, the consequences around the world would be catastrophic," he warned.

Trump said earlier last week that he is ok with torturing terrorists in order to "fight fire with fire."

"When ISIS is doing things that nobody has ever heard of since medieval times, would I feel strongly about waterboarding? As far as I am concerned, we have to fight fire with fire," Trump said during an interview with US TV network ABC.

Trump said he has recently met the senior intelligence officials who told him that torture "absolutely" works, but according to Melzer, contrary to popular belief, torture simply does not work.

"Torture is known to consistently produce false confessions and unreliable or misleading information," he said, "Faced with the imminent threat of excruciating pain or anguish, victims simply will say anything --regardless of whether it is true -- to make the pain stop and try to stay alive."

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