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Greens and Left demand follow-up on US torture

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Greens and Left demand follow-up on US torture
Amnesty International demonstrators during a visit by President Obama to Brussels in March 2014. Photo: DPA
09:08 CET+01:00
Opposition parties are calling for the government to adopt a harsher stance towards the USA after the US Senate published a report into CIA torture last week.

Green party MPs voted on Tuesday afternoon to demand that the government push for the release of an unredacted version of the 500-page executive summary published by the Senate last Tuesday, Spiegel reported.

New details of the worldwide system of secret prisons, illegal detention and so-called “enhanced interrogation” set up by the CIA during the presidency of George W. Bush included confirmation that the CIA knew it held and tortured an innocent German man.

The Greens' petition to the government will be introduced at the first session of the Bundestag in 2015, with the party hoping that Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Christian Democratic Union (CDU) MPs will support the motion.

“I'm betting it will pass”, Green MP and head of the Bundestag Justice Committee Renate Künast told Spiegel.

She added that the government now had to take action to remain credible after Chancellor Angela Merkel and other ministers criticized the Americans' methods harshly.

Künast has called Federal Public Prosecutor-General Harald Range to testify before the Justice Committee on Wednesday morning, and will quiz him about possible legal consequences of the report's publication.

But Left party (Linke) chief Gregor Gysi was two steps ahead, levelling charges against former US President Bush in a letter to Range on Tuesday.

He also asked Range to begin investigating former US Vice President Dick Cheney, former CIA Director George Tenet and two military psychologists who advised the CIA on the torture programme.

“The practice of torture revealed by the Senate report fulfils the criteria for grievous bodily harm, blackmail and kidnapping, as well as at least one case of murder,” Gysi wrote.

He argues that German courts can take on the case because there is no chance that the US justice system will punish those responsible, despite the US' membership of the 1984 UN Convention against Torture.

“Because of that it's the legal duty of your office to begin an investigation into those involved,” Gysi continued.

SEE ALSO: CIA tortured German it mistook for a terrorist

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