The ICJ said today that Gina Haspel, nominated by Donald Trump to be Director of the CIA, should be subject to a full criminal investigation for her alleged involvement torture and other serious crimes, rather than elevated to serve as the country’s highest intelligence office.
The ICJ statement came as the United States Senate Intelligence was poised to beginning hearings on her confirmation to the position.
“If Gina Haspel becomes CIA Director, the United States will be sending a signal to the world that it has dropped the pretence of caring about even the most serious human rights violations,” said Sam Zarifi, ICJ Secretary General.
“It will show that torturing and disappearing people by US officials will not only be met with impunity, but will be no bar to career advancement.”
Following the terror attacks against the United States of 11 September 2001 until 2007, the CIA held at least 119 terror suspects or persons it suspected to have intelligence value in places of secret detention outside of US territory.
The black sites were situated in several countries, including Afghanistan, Lithuania, Poland Romania, and Thailand.
The detainees, who had no contact with the outside world, were placed beyond the protection of the law and subjected to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
The torture included near drowning (“waterboarding”), prolonged sleep deprivation, placement in painful stress positions for extended periods, forced rectal feedings, and slamming against walls.
Gina Hapel oversaw at least one “black site” detention centre in Thailand in 2002, while detainee Abd al-Rahim al Nashiri was being tortured there.
She is credibly alleged to have played a significant role in destroying video evidence of interrogations that were carried out under torture.
“The European Court of Human Rights has already condemned Poland for violating the rights of Abd al-Rahim al Nashiri, after he was transferred to secret CIA detention facility in Poland, yet nobody directly responsible CIA has ever been held accountable for these serious crimes,” said Sam Zarifi.
Ian Seiderman, ICJ Legal and Policy Director, t +41 22 979 3837 ; e: ian.seiderman(a)icj.org