World

UN: Romney presidency ‘a democratic mandate for torture’

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights has claimed that if Mitt Romney is elected president of the United States next month, he will be “the first world leader in history to be able to claim a democratic mandate for torture.”

In an exclusive interview with The Canadian Press, the UN’s Ben Emmerson added, “there is no doubt that the Romney administration would be able to claim — in the event of a Romney presidency — a democratic mandate for torture.”

Emmerson was in Toronto attending a symposium on the aftermath of 9/11 and the negative impacts enhanced security has had on human rights. He specifically criticized Romney’s refusal to oppose waterboarding, an interrogation method that the Republican presidential nominee does not believe is torture.

Emmerson praised President Barack Obama for realigning U.S. policy on torture with international law.

“The re-introduction of torture under a Romney administration would significantly increase the threat levels to (Americans) at home and abroad,” Emmerson concluded. “Such a policy, if adopted, would expose the American people to risks the Obama administration is not currently exposing them to.”

While reserving his harshest critique for Romney, Emmerson did take issue with the Obama administration’s use of drone attacks and its “lack of transparency.”

Emmerson plans to address these concerns at the UN General Assembly later this month.

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