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Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Rendition? Ghost prisoners? Just say no.

Cuba today became just the eighth country to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. 81 countries in total have signed (but most have not yet ratified). One of the notable non-signees? The United States. I know you're surprised.

Here's what the U.S. isn't willing to agree to:

"Enforced disappearance" is defined in Article 2 of the Convention as "the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the State or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person outside the protection of the law."

Article 1 of the Convention further states that "no exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification for enforced disappearance."

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