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Rights group warns McCain torture ban may be undercut by Graham amendment

[JURIST] New York-based human rights Human Rights Watch warned Friday that the McCain Amendment [JURIST document] prohibiting the cruel and inhumane treatment of US-held detainees that was finally endorsed [JURIST report] Thursday by a reluctant Bush administration could yet be undercut by another amendment included in the same defense spending bill that would limit the recourse of Guantanamo detainees to the US federal courts in the event of abuse, rendering the McCain provision potentially unenforceable. A spokeman for Human Rights Watch said that the so-called Graham-Levin Amendment [JURIST document] approved by the US Senate in early November as a compromise in preference to an even stricter earlier version [JURIST document] that completely deprived detainees of habeas corpus remedies leaves Guantánamo detainees no legal recourse if they are, in fact, tortured or mistreated: "the treatment of Guantánamo Bay detainees will be shrouded in secrecy, placing detainees at risk for future abuse". HRW further alleged that the amendment "implicitly authorizes the Department of Defense to consider evidence obtained through torture or other inhumane treatment in assessing the status of detainees held in Guantánamo Bay". Read the full HRW press release.

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