The United Nations Committee on Torture has opened its examination of the U.S. government's compliance with global bans on torture.
Some 30 U.S. officials are expected to take part today and Monday in the first public hearings on Washington's record on torture since the United States launched its war on terror.
At the Geneva hearings, the U.N. committee is expected to focus on Washington's interpretation of torture, its detention policies and the existence of secret prisons.
The hearings come just days after the European Parliament launched a probe into allegations the CIA has illegally flown terrorism suspects across the continent. Human rights groups say some detainees were taken to secret prisons in eastern Europe where they were tortured.
U.S. officials have repeatedly said they strictly forbid torture.