The CIA’s use of torture on detainees, detailed in a Senate Intelligence Committee report released Tuesday, triggered widespread condemnation from leaders worldwide, with many calling for those responsible to be held accountable.
The United Nations led the criticism and urged the U.S. government to take immediate punitive action against officials who “devised, planned and authorized these crimes.”
Here’s a roundup of some of the reactions from around the world to the report:
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Ben Emmerson, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on counterterrorism and human rights, said, in a statement, that the report had confirmed what the international community had long believed to be true: “That there was a clear policy orchestrated at a high level within the Bush administration, which allowed to commit systematic crimes and gross violations of international human rights law.”
He also said that the U.S. was legally bound under international law to prosecute “former Bush Administration officials who have admitted their involvement in the program.”
“CIA officers who physically committed acts of torture … bear individual criminal responsibility for their conduct, and cannot hide behind the authorization they were given by their superiors,” Emmerson said, adding that the primary responsibility for “bringing them to justice rests with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Attorney General.”
China’s State News Agency
While there was no official reaction from the Chinese government, Xinhua -- the Chinese state-owned news agency -- said that the U.S. is “neither a suitable role model nor a qualified judge on human rights issues in other countries, as it pertains to be.”
The report also said that the U.S. government needed to “clean up its own backyard” before accusing other countries of violating human rights.
North Korea’s State News Agency
A North Korean foreign ministry spokesperson told KCNA -- the country’s official news agency -- that “despicable human rights” abuses by the U.S. are being ignored by the international community, including the U.N., which is “shutting its eyes” to the rights violations.
The U.N. Security Council had, earlier this week, voted for the inclusion of human rights abuses in its agenda for a meeting to be held later in December.
“If the UNSC handles the ‘human rights issue’ in the DPRK while shutting its eyes to the serious human rights issue in the U.S. -- one of its permanent members -- while failing to settle the pending and urgent issues directly linked with the world peace and security, it will prove itself its miserable position that it has turned into a tool for U.S. arbitrary practices (sic),” the spokesperson reportedly said.
British Prime Minister David Cameron
“Torture is always wrong. Those of us who want to see a safer, more secure world, who want to see this extremism defeated, we won’t succeed if we lose our moral authority,” Cameron said on Tuesday, during a joint press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Ankara.
“Obviously after 9/11 there were things that happened that were wrong, and we should be clear about the fact that they were wrong.”
While the Malaysian government has so far not reacted to the findings of the report, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, an opposition leader, asked the government to explain its role in the so-called “global war on terror.”
“While stopping terror plots is paramount, Malaysia should not have compromised its moral integrity in this way,” Ahmad reportedly said, referring to a February 2013 report by the Open Society Justice Initiative, which named Malaysia as one of 54 nations that had assisted the CIA in its detention and interrogation program.