While most would have no sympathy for any type of suffering terrorists endure, there are certain tactics used by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)that are not only outright inhumane, but go against the universal human rights that every person has — terrorist or otherwise.
The Guardian reports that the CIA routinely took naked pictures of terrorism suspects before sending them to be tortured by foreign allies.
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The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA torture in 2014 detailed in a footnote that detainees were photographed before transport; however, former officials revealed in interviews that several of them were naked when the photos were taken, according to Mashable.
Some of the photos reportedly showed detainees who were “blindfolded, bound and show visible bruises” as well as pictures that showed other people, likely to be CIA officials, alongside the naked prisoners.
The CIA has previously been accused of sexual abuse as well as waterboarding and other torturous tactics that have been outlawed. In the case of these naked photos, their justification is that they needed to document the prisoners’ physical condition before transferring them to foreign custody.
The issue has raised eyebrows among human rights experts who question the legality of such actions. One expert, who has not seen the pictures, described the practice itself as “a form of sexual humiliation,” Mashable reports.
"Any evidence that the CIA or any other U.S. government agency intentionally photographed naked detainees should be investigated by law enforcement as a potential violation of domestic and international law,” said Nathaniel Raymond, a researcher at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and an expert on detainee abuse.
The situation brings about a moral conflict: There are many people who would argue that prisoners accused of terrorism and heinous crimes against humanity are deserving of cruel treatment, and should be knocked down to their lowest point using these torturous tactics.
However, the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights indicates that “all members of the human family” have certain inalienable rights that no one, including the CIA, can violate or take away at their discretion.
No matter how the CIA may try to spin it, sexual abuse is not a legal or ethical form of punishment for any human being regardless of the crime they are accused of.