Who we are

To counter injustice with legal interventions – this is the aim and daily work of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights.

ECCHR is an independent, non-profit legal and educational organization dedicated to enforcing civil and human rights worldwide. It was founded in 2007 by Wolfgang Kaleck and other international human rights lawyers to protect and enforce the rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as other human rights declarations and national constitutions, through legal means.

Together with those affected and partners worldwide, ECCHR uses legal means to end impunity for those responsible for torture, war crimes, sexual and gender-based violence, corporate exploitation and fortressed borders.


New evidence added to criminal complaint on US torture program

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

Berlin, 7 June 2017 – An arrest warrant for CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel: that’s the aim of a new dossier from the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) submitted to the German Federal Public Prosecutor (Generalbundesanwalt) in Karlsruhe. Haspel was appointed to the position by US President Donald Trump in February 2017. The information submitted by ECCHR on 6 June 2017 documents Haspel’s role in the torture of detainees while she was serving as head of a secret CIA prison in Thailand. In the dossier, ECCHR argues that Haspel oversaw the daily 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 dossier on Haspel is a follow-up to ECCHR’s criminal complaint on the US torture program filed with the Federal Public Prosecutor on 17 December 2014. “Over the past years we have provided the prosecutor with extensive evidence on US torture as well as the names of torture survivors and former US officials who are willing to give evidence,” said Kaleck. By pursuing investigations into the US torture program, Germany can help to ensure that those responsible for rendition, torture and unlawful detention do not go unpunished.

ECCHR also submits that former CIA director George Tenet, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and other high-level Bush administration officials committed the war crime of torture under Paragraph 8 Section 1(3) of the German Code of Crimes against International Law (Völkerstrafgesetzbuch). That acts of torture occurred under the Bush administration was confirmed in the US Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA interrogation.

Along with the criminal complaint on the US torture program in Germany, ECCHR is also involved in legal proceedings in Belgium, France and Spain concerning the US detention center at Guantánamo Bay.

Press Contact

Maria Bause
T: +49 30 69819797
M: presse@ecchr.eu

Philipp Jedamzik
T: +49 30 29680591
M: presse@ecchr.eu