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UN rights chief says waterboarding clearly torture

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official website; JURIST news archive] said Friday that waterboarding [JURIST news archive] is clearly torture, echoing comments Wednesday by UN Special rapporteur on torture Manfred Nowak [official website; JURIST news archive], who sharply criticized the White House for defending the use of waterboarding [JURIST report] in remarks earlier this week. Arbour said Friday that she had "no difficulty" describing the practice as torture under international definitions of the term. AP has more.

The comments by both UN officials came in the wake of a Tuesday Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in which CIA Director Michael Hayden confirmed that US interrogators had used waterboarding on three terror detainees [JURIST report].

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