January 19, 2008 in Nation/World

Manual warns of torture by U.S.

The Spokesman-Review
 

A training manual for Canadian diplomats lists the United States as a country where prisoners risk torture and abuse, citing interrogation techniques such as stripping prisoners, blindfolding and sleep deprivation.

The Foreign Affairs Department document, released Friday, singled out the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay. It also names Israel, Afghanistan, China, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Syria as places where inmates could face torture.

The listing drew a sharp response from the U.S., a key NATO ally and trading partner, which asked to be removed from the manual.

“We find it to be offensive for us to be on the same list with countries like Iran and China. Quite frankly it’s absurd,” U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins said. “For us to be on a list like that is just ridiculous.”

Jerusalem

Supply shipments into Gaza blocked

Israel blocked shipment of food, fuel and all other supplies into the Gaza Strip on Friday and intensified airstrikes on the Palestinian territory, calling the steps a response to increasing rocket attacks into Israel.

At least through the weekend, each delivery of humanitarian supplies into Gaza will be subject to review, said Shlomo Dror, a spokesman for the Israeli Defense Ministry. “If Palestinians don’t stop the violence,” he said, “I have a feeling the life of people in Gaza is not going to be easy.”

The hostilities come two days after President Bush ended a Middle East tour that aimed in large part to push Israel and the Palestinians to take substantive steps toward easing tensions and resuming peace talks. The violence is some of the worst since the armed Hamas movement, which Israel and the United States consider a terrorist organization, took control of the Gaza Strip in June.

Nairobi, Kenya

Police open fire on protesters

Three days of opposition protests ended violently Friday with hundreds of police officers shooting wildly at protesters in Nairobi’s largest slum and clashes just a few miles from one of Kenya’s most famous safari playgrounds. At least 11 people were killed.

Five of the deaths occurred when supporters of President Mwai Kibaki and those loyal to opposition leader Raila Odinga began fighting with bows, arrows and machetes about 12 miles from the Masai Mara game reserve, the Associated Press reported.

At least 22 people were killed during the three days of nationwide demonstrations against Kibaki, whom Odinga accuses of stealing the Dec. 27 presidential election from him. In all, more than 600 people have been killed in violence and demonstrations since the vote.

On Friday, the human rights group Amnesty International condemned what it described as “reckless and lethal” use of force by police.


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