Topic

US torture

Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram, secret detention centers in Eastern Europe; waterboarding, sleep deprivation, electric shocks – these are all symbols of a barbaric system of torture. As part of the so-called "war on terror," the CIA and US military engaged in a systematic program of abduction, illegal detention and torture that was authorized at the highest levels.

In response to the 9/11 attacks in 2001, the CIA and the US military – with approval at the highest levels – kidnapped, unlawfully detained and tortured hundreds of people. To seek accountability for these crimes, ECCHR works together with former Guantánamo detainees, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York, and partner lawyers in Europe (Gonzalo Boye, William Bourdon, Walter van Steenbrugge and Christophe Marchand) to pursue select legal interventions against the architects of the US torture program. These legal efforts focus mainly on high-ranking politicians, officials, intelligence agents and military personnel.

documents

USA

UN Committee against Torture refuses to examine Belgium's role in torture of former Guantánamo detainee

Guantánamo

Belgium failed to investigate and prevent torture in US detention camp Guantánamo. Former detainee and Belgian citizen Zemmouri together with ECCHR argues that Belgian officials were complicit in the abuse.

USA

France: Court must continue to pursue Guantánamo torture cases

Guantánamo

Since 2002, the French judiciary has been conducting investigations into the U.S. torture program and the high-ranking officials responsible for it. In December 2019, the Court of Appeal (Chambre de l'instruction de la Cour d'appel) in Paris will decide whether the investigations will continue. ECCHR demanded the Court to summon former US Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld.

USA

Torture in Guantánamo: Spain closes investigations into "Bush Six"

Guantánamo

In March 2009, ECCHR partner lawyer Gonzalo Boye filed a criminal complaint against six former US officials of the Bush administration regarding their accountability for violations of international law, including war crimes and torture. The US officials became known as the "Bush Six."

USA

ECCHR supports "Extraordinary Rendition" case

Torture

ECCHR sumbitted an amici curiae brief in order to support the compensation claim in the Arar case. Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen, was arrested and abducted by US officials in 2002 and brought to Syria. During his one-year detention he suffered torture and was imprisoned under inhumane conditions.

USA

Germany must enforce criminal prosecution of CIA agents and demand an apology and compensation for CIA victim El Masri

Torture

The case of Khaled El Masri is one of the best documented extraordinary renditions by the CIA. Several inquiry commissions took up this case and a number of lawsuits were filed before different national and regional courts.

USA

Criminal Complaint against Bush

Torture

As a signatory of the Convention against Torture, the US is obliged to prosecute for these crimes. Nevertheless, there is evidence concerning the torture program after 11 September 2001 with a particular focus on the liability of high ranking US officials, including former President Bush.

USA

Rumsfeld torture cases

Torture

Between 2004 and 2007, three complaints were filed in Germany and in France against members of the US Government, including former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and members of the military forces in connection with war crimes, torture and other criminal acts in the military prisons of Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib.

USA

Germany: Criminal Complaint against CIA Director Gina Haspel

Torture

ECCHR has filed a criminal complaint with the German Federal Public Prosecutor calling for investigations into Gina Haspel's role in the torture of detainees at a CIA secret prison in Thailand in 2002. Haspel was appointed Director of the CIA by President Donald Trump in May 2018.