September 6, 2006 - MARKEY WELCOMES BUSH REVERSAL ON SECRET CIA PRISONS AND TORTURE TACTICS, WILL KEEP TROOPS SAFER

Washington, DC -- Today, Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-MA), a senior member of the House Homeland Security Committee, welcomed news reports that those prisoners currently held in the secret network of CIA-run “black site” secret prisons would be transferred out of CIA custody and afforded protections under the Geneva Conventions.  The Bush Administration has never even acknowledged the existence of these secret international prisons.  Rep. Markey also called on the Bush Administration not to weaken the Geneva Conventions with questionable new interpretations stripping out important provisions.  News reports have indicated that the administration intends to gut U.S. compliance with Common Article 3 of the Geneva conventions, which bans “outrages upon personal dignity.”

“This is a necessary step in restoring the confidence of the world that the United States is a nation of laws and of principles,” Rep. Markey said.  “The Geneva Conventions are a critical protection for American personnel overseas, and by undermining the international consensus on the treatment of detainees, the Bush Administration has endangered U.S. troops who may be captured in the future.  The correction of this bad policy will keep Americans abroad more safe, but it is equally important that President Bush not strip out other critical provisions of the Geneva Conventions.”

“Now that detainees are being transferred out of these secret CIA prisons, it is also time that the Bush Administration end the abhorrent practice of ‘extraordinary rendition,’  whereby the United States sends suspects to places like Syria or Uzbekistan to be interrogated in a manner that would be illegal here at home.  Sending prisoners to human-rights abusers for the purposes of interrogation is really outsourcing torture, and this practice must be brought to an end immediately.”  Rep. Markey concluded.

Rep. Markey, has introduced H.R. 952, a bill to end the practice of extraordinary rendition, in which prisoners captured or held by the U.S. are transferred to countries known to practice torture and other forms of cruel treatment.  For more on Rep. Markey’s work on banning torture, please go to http://markey.house.gov.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 6, 2006

CONTACT: Israel Klein
202.812.8193