US a "safe haven

US "safe haven" for torturers: Amnesty International Agence France Presse Washington, April 11The United States is a safe haven for torturers from other parts of the world who are fleeing justice, Amnesty International charged in a report released here on Wednesday. The US government admits that up to 1,000 suspected torturers may have entered the country, but has not prosecuted any of them despite the passage in 1994 of a law permitting the prosecution of acts of torture, the London-based rights group charged. US authorities have failed to press charges even though they have been notified of the identities of several suspects and the evidence against them, the group said. "Despite the presence of at least 150 suspected torturers in the United States, in eight years the US government has failed to prosecute a single individual for committing torture, opting instead to ignore, deport or cover up the problem," said William Schulz, the executive director of Amnesty International USA. The report names 13 people who entered or reside in the United States who have been accused of torture and other human rights violations in Cuba, Somalia, Guatemala, Ethiopia, El Salvador, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Haiti, Honduras and Chile. The cover of the Amnesty report, entitled "USA: A Safe Haven for Torturers," depicts Peruvian army major Tomas Ricardo Anderson Kohatsu, who is accused of torturing two intelligence officers in 1997 by raping, beating and subjecting them to electrical shocks. One of the two victims, Leonor LaRosa, was left a paraplegic after suffering serious damage to her spinal cord. The other, Mariela Lucy Barreto, was found decapitated with her hands amputated. In March 2000, during a US visit, Kohatsu was questioned by the US justice department regarding the allegations, but was allowed to return to Peru after the department of state intervened to prevent his arrest, Amnesty said. The 13 suspects named by Amnesty have already been subjected to civil lawsuits or named in the press. The group said it did not name the other torture suspects it has confirmed are living in the United States, to prevent them from fleeing justice once again.