Germany: CIA deputy Gina Haspel must face arrest on travelling to Europe

ECCHR’s legal intervention filed with the German Federal Public Prosecutor (Generalbundesanwalt – GBA) is aimed at securing an arrest warrant for CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel. Haspel was appointed to the post by President Donald Trump in February 2017. The information submitted to the GBA by ECCHR on 6 June 2017 documents Haspel’s role in the torture of detainees in 2002 at a secret CIA prison in Thailand. In the dossier, ECCHR argues that Haspel oversaw the torture of detainees at the black site in 2002 and failed to do anything to stop it.
“Those who commit, order or allow torture should be brought before a court – this is especially true for senior officials from powerful nations,” said ECCHR’s General Secretary Wolfgang Kaleck. “The prosecutor must, under the principle of universal jurisdiction, open investigations, secure evidence and seek an arrest warrant. If the deputy director travels to Germany or Europe, she must be arrested.”
The complaint is available upon request.

US torture program: ECCHR’s legal interventions filed with the German Federal Public Prosecutor since 2014

This submission is a follow-up to a criminal complaint on the US torture program filed by ECCHR with the German prosecutors on 17 December 2014. ECCHR is calling for an investigation into the US torture program as a whole and all the members of the government, CIA and military who bear responsibility for the program.
Directly after the publication, in December 2014, of the US Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture, ECCHR submitted a criminal complaint to the GBA – based on the principle of universal jurisdiction – regarding former CIA director George Tenet, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and other members of the US government under George Bush (for download see below).
In July 2015, further information was filed regarding the CIA torture program and in particular senior CIA agent Frances B. This was followed in summer 2016 by submissions offering witness testimony from former detainees.
ECCHR accuses Tenet, Rumsfeld and the other named suspects of the war crime of torture under Article 8 Paragraph 1(3) of the German Code of Crimes under International Law. That acts of torture occurred as part of the US program was confirmed in the US Senate Intelligence Committee Report.

No impunity for torture in Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib and CIA secret prisons

“Those responsible for designing and implementing the torture system – politicians, officials, intelligence agents, lawyers and high-ranking army officials – should be brought before a court,” said  ECCHR General Secretary Wolfgang Kaleck. “With investigations into Deputy Director Gina Haspel, Germany can help ensure that rendition, abuse and unlawful detention do not go unpunished.”
One section of the December 2014 US Senate report addresses the case of the German  
Khaled El Masri, who was abducted by CIA agents in 2004 in a case of mistaken identity and tortured in a secret detention camp in Afghanistan.
In July 2015, ECCHR filed a follow-up submission to the December 2014 criminal complaint containing information on the El Masri case and including allegations against senior CIA agent Frances B. She is said to have been involved in the decisions on the rendition and prolonged detention of El Masri and may thus be criminally liable for war crimes as well as unlawful detention and dangerous bodily injury. In the submission ECCHR also named witnesses who could give evidence on the overall US torture program.

Germany must issue arrest warrants against the "architects of the US torture program"

In a further submission to the prosecutor in June 2016, ECCHR provided details of witnesses currently living in Germany who survived torture in Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib and who are prepared to give statements and to assist investigations. ECCHR also detailed the links between the CIA torture program and torture by the US military.
ECCHR is calling on the German Federal Public Prosecutor to investigate Haspel, Frances B., Tenet, Rumsfeld and the other accused, to secure evidence and to work towards issuing arrest warrants. This would allow German authorities to react swiftly should any of the suspects travel to Europe, instead of waiting until such a time to begin complex investigations and legal assessments.
ECCHR General Secretary Kaleck, together with the US Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), submitted criminal complaints against Tenet and Rumsfeld in Germany in 2004 and 2006 and against George Bush in Switzerland in 2011. ECCHR is also involved in proceedings in Belgium, France and Spain concerning detention at Guantánamo.


Criminal Complaint against Tenet, Rumsfeld and others (December 2014)

Criminal Complaint_Tenet_Rumsfeld_et al_20141217.pdf (372.0 KiB)


  • Bush
  • CIA
  • Germany
  • Haspel
  • Rumsfeld
  • Tenet
  • Torture
  • Universal Jurisdiction
  • US