Geneva and Washington D.C.
University of Geneva
Public event on Interrogation & Torture
Today we stand at a unique moment. Two novel and significant developments unfurl on interrogation and torture that call for our distinct attention:
1. For the first time there is scientific research into the most effective interrogation techniques, and it shows—unsurprisingly—non-coercive methods to be the most successful for gaining reliable and accurate information;
2. Efforts are currently being made to integrate this new science and effective practice into international law and global policing initiatives.
To explore these novel and historic advancements, a public event is planned for Human Rights Day and the 35th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention Against Torture, 10 December 2019. Moreover, this event coincides with the release of an edited book that has been structured to capture these two unfolding developments: “Interrogation and Torture, Integrating Efficacy with Law and Morality”.
PRESENTATION OF THE OUTCOMES OF THE BOOK (Science, Practice, Law and Morality)
Mark Fallon (Book Editor, Fmr. NCIS Deputy Assistant Director), Susan Brandon (HIG Research Program), Gloria Gaggioli, Steven J. Barela (Book editors)
EXTERNAL PERSPECTIVES (Academic, Practice, State)
Frédéric Bernard (UNIGE), Gerald Staberock (World Organisation Against Torture) and Kaspar Grossenbacher (Human Rights Policy Office FDFA)
A TORTURE SURVIVOR’S PERSPECTIVE
Sami El-Haj (Director of Aljazeera Centre of Public Liberties & Human Rights Centre)
Nils Melzer (United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment)
PANEL DISCUSSION: TOWARDS RAPPORT-BASED INTERROGATION
Steven J. Barela (moderator), Gregg Bloche (Law and Public Health at Georgetown University), Mark Fallon (Book Editor, Fmr. NCIS Deputy Assistant Director), Barbara Bernath (Association for the Prevention of Torture), Teis Brüel Birkegaard, (Permanent Mission of Denmark), Shane O’Mara(Experimental Brain Research, Trinity College Dublin)
Welcome and Opening
Background to the Debate
Outcomes of the Book
A Torture Survivor’s Perspective
Panel Discussion: Towards Rapport-Based Interrogation
America’s Misadventure in Torture: New Revelations & Hard Lessons
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WASHINGTON–On Thursday, March 5, at Georgetown Law, leading experts on torture and interrogation programs will unpack new revelations about U.S. actions after 9/11and discuss ongoing efforts to ensure ethical approaches to securing critical national security information.
Widely overshadowed by the 2020 primary season and impeachment news, January hearings at Guantanamo Bay revealed new clues about the U.S. approach to water boarding and other harsh interrogation methods after 9/11. Testimony from CIA psychologist James Mitchell not only offers new details on the design of the “enhanced interrogation” program he led, it suggests the CIA employed rival programs that may have been even more brutal. Other recent disclosures illuminate the role of physicians and how U.S. officials subverted medical and psychological ethics. Leading experts will review these revelations with an eye toward lessons learned for the prevention of torture and the conduct of ethical, evidence-based national security interrogation methods.
Short film excerpts to be shown include The Report, which dramatizes the role of featured speaker Daniel J. Jones in the U.S. Senate investigation into CIA interrogation methods. Former U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Mendez will also speak, followed by an expert panel including contributors to a new book, Interrogation & Torture.
Daniel J. Jones, lead author of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s Report on the CIA’s Detention & Interrogation Program; founder, The Penn Quarter Group & Advance Democracy
Juan Mendez, former U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture; Professor of Human Rights inResidence, American University; contributor to Interrogation & Torture
Alka Pradhan, Human Rights Counsel, Guantanamo Military Commissions
Mark Fallon, former Military Commissions chief investigator; co-editor, Interrogation & Torture; author, Unjustifiable Means; Director of ClubFed, LLC
Susan E. Brandon, former Research Director, High-Value Detainee Interrogation
M. Gregg Bloche, Professor,Georgetown Law; author, The Hippocratic Myth contributor to Interrogation & Torture
David Luban, Professor, Georgetown Law; author, Torture, Power, & Law; contributor to Interrogation & Torture
Steven Barela, lead editor, Interrogation & Torture; Senior Research Fellow, University of Geneva