Posted by: Lister | September 13, 2007

Enhanced Dancing Techniques

Amnesty film shows agony of US detention techniques

Forced on to the balls of his feet, bent double with his hands handcuffed behind his back, the near-naked man shook violently. From beneath the hood, muted moans were audible. It seemed obscene to stare at this apparently frail, vulnerable man, caught in a stress position reminiscent of the images of Iraqi prisoners being interrogated by US soldiers at Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib prison. Yet this was not torture. It was art.

In an attempt to draw attention to human rights abuses, Amnesty International has filmed a dancer in the positions captives have been forced to adopt by US troops. The resulting film makes shocking viewing. During a break in filming, Jiva Parthipan, a Sri Lankan performance artist, appeared relieved as he rubbed his limbs, which were aching after just a couple of minutes in a position that suspects in President George Bush’s “war on terror” are expected to endure for hours.

The star of the Amnesty International film, which is being released online next month to highlight the agony of such interrogation techniques, said he found the experience painful, both physically and psychologically. In secret jails across the world, Amnesty insists, captives in the fight against terrorism are expected to maintain these poses. They are not considered torture, simply “enhanced interrogation techniques”. Alfred McCoy, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, argued recently that the photographs from Abu Ghraib reflected standard CIA torture techniques of ” stress positions, sensory deprivation, and sexual humiliation”.


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