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Rice Says U.S. Bound By Torture Convention Worldwide

U.S. Secretary of State Rice in Berlin, 6 December 2005 (file photo) (epa) 7 December 2005 -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, speaking today in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, said the United Nations’ Convention against Torture applies to all U.S. personnel, with no exceptions, everywhere in the world.

Rice said it is "a matter of U.S. policy" that the UN convention, which prohibits cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment of detainees, "extends to U.S. personnel wherever they are -- whether they are in the U.S. or outside the U.S."

The administration of President George W. Bush had previously interpreted the ban as covering only U.S. territory. Human rights groups have alleged that in practice, this meant U.S. personnel could use methods in overseas prisons that would not be allowed in the United States.

The United States has always maintained it does not torture detainees.