US lawmakers call for investigation over UAE torture black-sites

US lawmakers call for investigation over UAE torture black-sites
2 min read
24 June, 2017
A number of US senators wrote a letter to the Defense Secretary on Thursday in response to an AP investigation that found evidence of US complicity in torture in Yemen.
John McCain has been a frequent advocate against US involvement in torture [Anadolu]

A number of United States lawmakers called for investigations into a report claiming the US military interrogated Yemeni prisoners that were allegedly tortured by UAE forces.

Senior senators, including John McCain and Jack Reed, wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Thursday in response to the AP report.

"Even the suggestion that the United States tolerates torture by our foreign partners compromises our national security mission by undermining the moral principle that distinguishes us from our enemies — our belief that all people possess basic human rights," the senators wrote.

"We are confident that you find these allegations as extremely troubling as we do."

An AP investigation on Thursday referenced dozens of interviews with the victims of torture, their families and regional actors, concluding that the UAE was running or supporting a number of illegal torture black sites in south Yemen.

They also found that US troops were involved with the interrogation of these prisoners, but were not implicated in the torture itself.

Representatives of the US and UAE government’s denied all accusations of wrongdoing.

An American defense official told AP that US forces had been involved in the interrogation of detainees in Yemen but denied any participation in, or knowledge of, actual torture.

The same day a Human Rights Watch report published details of a similar scope, asserting that UAE troops maintained at least two black sites.

Among the accusations were reports that torturers had strapped prisoners to a roasting spit, where they were turned over a hot fire.