• Germany's news in English
 

Germany uses foreign torture intel, report says

Published: 29 Jun 2010 08:01 GMT+02:00

The use by three heavyweight European powers of information from secret services in countries that routinely rely on torture was damaging the reputation of the entire European Union, said the rights group.

"Berlin, Paris and London should be working to eradicate torture, not relying on foreign torture intelligence," said Judith Sunderland, Western Europe researcher for HRW.

"Taking information from torturers is illegal and just plain wrong."

The report, entitled "No Questions Asked: Intelligence Cooperation with Countries that Torture," found that , "The actual practices of these leading EU states contradict the EU's anti-torture guidelines, which make eradicating torture and ill-treatment a priority in its relations with other countries.”

The use of such intelligence obtained under questionable circumstances "damages the credibility of the European Union," added HRW.

Intelligence services in the three countries lack detailed instructions on how to assess and respond to information from countries that torture, said the rights group.

Torture-tainted information has been used in criminal proceedings in France and Germany, despite domestic and international rules banning the use of such evidence in proceedings, said HRW.

"France, Germany, and the UK can engage in necessary intelligence cooperation without undermining the global torture ban," said the rights group.

"To do so, they must make genuine inquiries of countries that provide information to determine whether torture was used to obtain it."

Your comments about this article

11:01 June 29, 2010 by snorge
Oh yeah, I forgot that terrorists always have diarreah of the mouth whenever they get caught!

Go ahead and play nice Europeans, then when your soldiers get their butt kicked or civiliand get blown up in your cities, who are you going to blame?
11:43 June 29, 2010 by hkypuck
It would be interesting to see what HRW has to say about some of these terrorist groups. When militant group Muntada al-Ansar captured 26-yr-old American construction engineer Nick Berg and chopped off his head, I wounder if they were worried about the HRW's bad rating.

Something tells me that those maniacs don't just come clean with valuable info when asked polietly.

However, in the movie Resevoir Dogs, Nice Guy Eddie (Chris Penn) says

"You beat on this (guy) enough, he'll tell you he started the Chicago fire. That don't necessarily make it so!"

I do think there is some truth to that.
13:40 June 29, 2010 by Prufrock2010
This is an interesting topic, one that has already been debated and litigated to death in the US. I can't wait for the right wingers around here to start channeling their inner Dick Cheneys to extol the virtues of torture while regurgitating the definitively repudiated canard that torture yields accurate, actionable intelligence. That should be a hoot.

I'm also interested in reading their comments on how the countries named in the article are not bound by the Geneva Conventions' prohibition of torture. I suspect their arguments will be a creative as they will be inflammatory.

May you live in interesting times.
14:16 June 29, 2010 by NYsteve
I was a Sergeant in the US Marine Corps for 8 years...got out in 1984. We were taught to uphold the Geneva Convention because otherwise your own countryman, if caught, could expect like treatment..........that was then........the terrorists groups operating now never signed the Geneva Convention. I personally don't believe in torture, water-boarding, etc that the Bush "trio" (Bush, Cheney & Rumsfeld) brought to the table......this is a very difficult debate......like hkypuck said above....you beat someone enough, they will admit to anything....and THAT info could be more damaging and harmful......
17:23 June 29, 2010 by Eagle1
Ok, clueless liberals, here's how this works:

99.99% of the time, no form of torture is necessary to get the info. that the good guys need.

.01 % of the time, some form of torture is necessary to crack an idiot who would rather kill 200 innocent kids than provide any information. If it didn't work, no one would use it.

Get out of your playpens and into the real world. These fundamentalist Muslim nuts are coming to spread their fundamentalism, regardless of whether you have soldiers overseas or not. You can either use every tool available to you to defeat them, or you can play the moral dummy and risk watching the next hijacked airplane land in the Marienplatz. Your choice.
17:45 June 29, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
This is idiotic. We use research data from the suffering to create medical treatments, too. We study gunshot victims, we study the effects of chemical weapons, and we'll certainly use information gathered from a bio-weapons attack, if one should occur. The idea that information is 'tainted' because it was generated by unlawfulness is complete non-sense.
19:01 June 29, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Jack Bauer lives! Keep 'em coming, please.
Today's headlines
Sudeten Germans give up 'right to homeland'
Sudeten Germans practising traditional dance at a gathering in 2014. Photo: DPA

Sudeten Germans give up 'right to homeland'

The Sudeten German Homeland Association has given up its claim to the group's former home in parts of the Czech Republic, quieting one of the final echoes of the Second World War. READ  

Minister draws fire over wage transparency plan
Families Minister Manuela Schwesig. Photo: DPA

Minister draws fire over wage transparency plan

Families Minister Manuela Schwesig confirmed on Sunday that she wants a new law allowing women to compare their wages with men doing similar work, provoking angry reactions from employers. READ  

Police wind down Bremen terror response
Heavily-armed police on patrol outside Bremen cathedral. Photo: DPA

Police wind down Bremen terror response

Police in Bremen said that the risk of a terrorist attack had been reduced in the city after they arrested two suspected arms dealers. The city remains under high alert, with special protection for the Jewish community. READ  

Germany's Schäuble softens Greece tone
Photo: DPA

Germany's Schäuble softens Greece tone

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said Sunday Greece's new hard-left government needs "a bit of time" but is committed to implementing necessary reforms to resolve its debt crisis. READ  

UK Pegida rally dwarfed by counter-demo
Photo: DPA

UK Pegida rally dwarfed by counter-demo

An estimated 375 people turned out for the Germany-based PEGIDA movement's first demonstration in Britain on Saturday, but were outnumbered by a 2,000-strong crowd of counter-protesters, police said. READ  

Greek PM vows to 'start working hard' after vote
Photo: DPA

Greek PM vows to 'start working hard' after vote

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras vowed Friday to "start working hard" to implement vital reforms in the stricken eurozone country, after Germany's parliament approved a four month extension to its bailout. READ  

Ukraine: troop deaths 'serious breach' of truce
Photo: DPA

Ukraine: troop deaths 'serious breach' of truce

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko declared the killing of three government troops by pro Moscow rebels a "serious breach of the ceasefire", during a telephone call Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, her office said. READ  

Man wins court battle over loud footsteps
Trouble at the top. Photo: DPA

Man wins court battle over loud footsteps

Germany's highest civil court ruled in favour of a man who swapped the carpet in his new apartment for parquet flooring, incurring the wrath of the retired couple who lived below him over his loud footsteps. READ  

Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday
Photo: DPA

Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday

Teachers all over the country are expected to stike starting Monday, German education trade union GEW said, after negotiations with the wage commission of the federal states (TdL) failed to achieve results. READ  

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes
Andre Shepherd at the European Court of Justice in June 2014. Photo: DPA

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes

American soldier Andre Shepherd, who applied for asylum in Germany as a conscientious objector against the war in Iraq after going AWOL from his unit, saw a judgement by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) go against him on Thursday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Germany
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
Sponsored Article
Tourist or lifer: what sort of expat are you?
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Sponsored Article
Are you an American expat? How to face FATCA
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,180
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd