Insight with Philippe Sands: Torture Team

Talk Tuesday 23rd September, 2008

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Philippe Sands investigates in his new book Torture Team – how the Rumsfeld Memo – a Memo signed by Donald Rumsfeld in 2002 that listed eighteen techniques of interrogation which defied international definitions of torture – set the stage for a divergence from the Geneva Convention and the Torture Convention.

The Rumsfeld Memo authorised the controversial interrogation practices that went on to be used in Guantanamo, Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, as part of the policy of extraordinary rendition. From his behind-the-scenes vantage point, Phillipe Sands investigates and is able to hold the individual gatekeepers in the Bush administration to account, for their failure to safeguard international law.

Philippe Sands is an international lawyer and a professor of law at University College London. He is the author of Lawless World and is frequently a commentator on news and current affairs programmes including CNN, MSNBC, and BBC World Service. He has been involved in many leading international cases, including those involving the treatment of British detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

Olenka Frenkiel is a reporter, writer and documentary film-maker specialising in international investigations for BBC Television and Radio. Her recent films in North Korea, Israel and Pakistan have won the Peabody, RTS and CINE Golden Eagle awards among others.