Russia calls US torture report 'shocking', calls for pressure

AFP , Thursday 11 Dec 2014

File Photo: The logo of the CIA in the lobby of the headquarters in Langley (Photo: Reuters)

Russia on Thursday called a damning US report on the torture of detainees "shocking" and urged Washington to release the rest of the data about human rights violations.

Russia, which has always bristled at what it sees as Washington's attempts to lecture Moscow on human rights, seized on the latest opportunity to say its former Cold War foe was no "paragon of democracy."

A searing US Senate Intelligence Committee report released Tuesday said the CIA's interrogation of Al-Qaeda suspects was far more brutal than acknowledged and did not produce useful intelligence.

"Its contents are shocking," the Russian foreign ministry's human rights envoy Konstantin Dolgov said, referring to the report.

"The published data is the latest proof of crude systemic violations of human rights by US authorities," he said.

"Such a state of affairs does not mesh with the United States' claims to the title of a 'paragon of democracy," Dolgov said. "This is far from the reality."

He added that most of the report still remained confidential and called on international rights activists to press the United States to release all the information about violations committed as part of Washington's "war on terror."

Another Russian foreign ministry representative, Alexander Lukashevich, also took issue with the fact that US officials had for a long time wanted to conceal the facts of torture.

"That means no one is perfect," he told a weekly briefing.

The US report said detainees were beaten, waterboarded -- some of them dozens of times -- and humiliated through the painful use of medically unnecessary "rectal feeding" and "rectal rehydration."

Russian national television repeatedly broadcast graphic footage showing hooded and crouching prisoners.

"It is not uncommon for Americans to put themselves above international law," said a voiceover on Rossiya 24 television.

Ties between Moscow and Washington fell to unprecedented post-Soviet lows after Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in March and the United States slapped several rounds of sanctions on Russia.

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