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USA: Senate committee should vote against Gina Haspel's appointment as CIA director

Waterboarding used by the CIA against detainees during the George W Bush administration was never properly investigated © Amnesty International

Alleged role in CIA torture and ‘black site’ detention programme should preclude her from job until full investigation undertaken

Amnesty International has called on the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to vote against Gina Haspel’s nomination as the next director of the CIA pending an investigation of her alleged role in the CIA’s programme of torture and enforced disappearances.

Daphne Eviatar, Director of Security with Human Rights at Amnesty International USA, said:

“Ever since President Trump nominated Gina Haspel to become CIA director we have called for her nomination to be withdrawn pending proper investigation and declassification of her alleged role in the CIA’s programme of torture and enforced disappearances.

“No such investigation has been initiated or conducted, so as things stand the nomination should not proceed. Simple as that.

“A nomination hearing is not the place to establish the truth about the nominee’s alleged role in crimes under international law. Senators should block this nomination.”

Published accounts by former officials and others involved in the CIA’s detention programme indicate that Ms Haspel may not only have been directly involved in running a CIA “black site” in 2002, but may also have “run” the CIA interrogation programme more broadly for a period, and may also have been involved in covering up possible evidence of crimes under international law.

Amnesty takes no position on the appointment of particular individuals to government positions unless they are reasonably suspected of crimes under international law. Amnesty has previously called for crimes under international law committed in the CIA secret detention programme to be fully investigated.

Enforced disappearance and torture are crimes under international law. Anyone involved in such crimes should be brought to justice in full and fair trials.

Last month, Amnesty published a 32-page report on the CIA’s torture programme and Gina Haspel’s nomination.

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