Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s daughter Amrit Singh, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union in New York City, has played a key role in the ACLU’s victory in forcing the U.S. Defense Department to release photos of American military men torturing prisoners.
The U.S. Defense Department told a federal court today that that it would release by May 28 a “substantial number” of photos depicting the abuse of prisoners by U.S. personnel.
The torture photos are from prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan at locations other than Abu Ghraib.
The ACLU had filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in 2004 against the government seeking release of the photos. The Bush administration had steadfastly refused to release the torture photos on specious grounds.
(Image Courtesy: ACLU)
Following the ACLU’s hard fought victory, Amrit Singh said:
These photographs provide visual proof that prisoner abuse by U.S. personnel was not aberrational but widespread, reaching far beyond the walls of Abu Ghraib. Their disclosure is critical for helping the public understand the scope and scale of prisoner abuse as well as for holding senior officials accountable for authorizing or permitting such abuse.
A tough cookie who has campaigned hard against the abuse of prisoners by American personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan, Amrit Singh has also co-authored a book on the brutal torture of prisoners by American soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.
In the fine book (Administration of Torture) published about 18 months back, Amrit Singh and her co-author Jameel Jaffer plunge the dagger deep into the rotting carcass of the Bush administration, twist the knife around and expose the maggot of lies and evasions surrounding the brutal torture of prisoners by American soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.
Amrit Singh and her co-author Jameel Jaffer argue in the book that the well publicized abuse at Abhu Ghraib was not an aberration but widespread:
[T]he abuse and torture of prisoners was not limited to Abu Ghraib but was pervasive in U.S. detention facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan and at Guantanamo Bay, and that the maltreatment of prisoners resulted in large part from decisions made by senior civilian and military officials. [P.2]
[T]he abuse captured in the Abu Ghraib photographs was far from isolated. The same kind of abuse, and indeed much worse, was inflicted on prisoners at detention facilities throughout Afghanistan and Iraq. [p.29]
A graduate of Yale Law School, Cambridge and Oxford Universities, Amrit Singh is married to Barton Beebe, Professor of Law at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University on Fifth Avenue in New York City.