OPR Report: Torture Whitewash

February 24, 2010

Torture Whitewash: How “Professional Misconduct” Became “Poor Judgment” in the OPR Report – Here’s my take on the DoJ report into how John Yoo and Jay Bybee deliberately twisted the law in an attempt to redefine and justify torture, and how one man – David Margolis – shamefully overruled the damning and accurate findings. Don’t let this be the end of the story!

The long-awaited report by the OPR (the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility) into the conduct of the lawyers in the OLC (Office of Legal Counsel), regarding their role in approving the use of torture, has finally been published (PDF).

Torture Whitewash: How “Professional Misconduct” Became “Poor Judgment” in the OPR Report | Andy Wor


A few hours ago I had Marcel Vervloesem, member of our association that revealed the childporn case Zandvoort, on the phone. They promised him last week that they wanted to transfer him today to the prison of Turnhout he is coming from three weeks ago for just one hour session of the court sentence. The transfert to the prison of Turnhout is once again postponed. He is (in addition to his heart disease, his dormant cancer, his kidney problems and his diabetes) became very sick of this whole situation. Sometimes I think, the people who have a pleasure to torture critically ill patients in a sadistic way, are the same people who find a blissful pleasure to see children be tortured and raped…


Following is a list of more than 20 emergency room trips and surgical operations endured by Marcel Vervloesem, of which Belgian minister of justice and his cabinet members were informed more than 40 times.
These prominent officials advocates publicly for a “humane and equitable” justice, and states at the same time that a prisoner ‘can be released from jail only 3 days before his expected death’.

1- malignant cancer : treated at St. H. Hart Hospital, Lier : 2 times
2- kidneys : at St Elisabeth Hospital, Herentals : 5 times
3- pancreas : at St. H. Hart Hospital, Lier : 2 times, University IA, Anvers : 1 time
4- emergency in intensive care for pancreatite : 2 times
5- emergency in intensive care for pancreatite : University IA, Anvers : 1 time
6- intensive care : Fabiola Hospital, Sambreville and St. Elisabeth Hospital, Herrentals : 11 times
7- kidneys : Gasthuisberg, Louvain : 2 times
8- heart surgery for cardiac dysfunctioning : at AZ Imelda, Bonheiden : 3 times
9- diabetes intensive care : at St. H. Hart Hospital, Lier : 4 times
10- kidneys : at St. H. Hart Hospital, Lier : 1 time
11- heart surgery : at AZ St. Jan, Bruges : 1 time
12- kidney dialysis : at St. H. Hart Hospital, Lier : 1 time
13- internal hemorrhage : at AZ St. Jan, Bruges : 1 time
14- surgery : at St. Jan, Bruges : 1 time
15- surgery for placing dialysis drains : at AZ St. Jan, Bruges : 1 time
16- intensive care in cardiology : at St. Elisabeth Hospital, Turnhout : 1 time
17- emergency room intensive care for anemia (leukemia) : St. Elisabeth Hospital, Turnhout : 1 time
18- emergency room intensive care : St. Elisabeth Hospital, Herrentals : 1 time
19- heart surgery : AZ St. Jan, Bruges : 1 time
20- on May 14th 2009, for heart problems caused by among other reasons lack of medications and insufficent treatments, Mr Vervloesem was to be admitted in emergency to the AZ St. Jan Hospital, Bruges, but the prison director, using a psycho-social service’s report denied it.

– Website Morkhoven (English, French, Italian, Dutch)
– Case Dutroux – Russo
– Human Rights Belgium
– Violation Human Rights Belgium
– Violation Human Rights Prisons Belgium
– Abuses and disappearances – Save the life of Marcel Vervloesem
– Freedetainees

Droit Fondamental


Sign the Petition ‘Free Marcel Vervloesem!’

The right to a fair trial

February 21, 2010

Since last June, when, in the wake of a significant ruling in the European Court of Human Rights, the Law Lords ruled that imposing control orders breaches Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the right to a fair trial, the system established in haste and paranoia in early 2005 has been crumbling.

In the last eight months, several former detainees have had their control orders quietly dropped, and other orders have been quashed or revoked by judges. Nevertheless, twelve of the orders, which, on the basis of secret evidence, consign detainees to a life of virtual house arrest, with severe restrictions on their liberty, remain in force.


Andy Worthington discusses Bagram and Guantánamo with Jeff Farias – Jeff and I discussed my recent work on Bagram, in light of the recently released prisoner list, and also talked about the Military Commissions (the appeal in the cases of Salim Hamdan and Ali Hamza al-Bahlul), and the sad case of Omar Khadr, and the sad case of Omar Khadr, still abandoned by the Canadian government:

Last week, I was delighted to be invited by Jeff Farias to take part in his radio show, just a week after my previous visit. The show is available here (it starts just over two hours in), and Jeff wanted …