A UN investigator has requested that the United States reveal its findings on the CIA’s Bush-era programme of the rendition and secret detention of terrorism suspects, which has the potential to lead to high level officials being prosecuted for crimes against humanity.
A US Senate select committee on intelligence investigated the CIA’s secret detention and interrogation programme and examined use of highly controversial torture methods including waterboarding.
The panel is believed to have been given unrestricted access to classified information, and completed its review in December 2011.
Ben Emmerson, UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights, has urged the Senate to publish the report “without delay, and to the fullest extent possible”. He also airs concern over the fact that there have been no prosecutions despite the “gross or systematic” violation of human rights. He said:
“Despite this clear repudiation of the unlawful actions carried out by the Bush-era CIA, many of the facts remain classified, and no public official has so far been brought to justice in the United States.”
The Department of Justice has so far protected Bush era war criminals by refusing to prosecute any official “who acted in good faith and within the scope of legal guidance given by its Office of Legal Counsel”, according to US Attorney General Eric Holder.
Emmerson regards this as:
“Perpetuating impunity for the public officials implicated in these crimes.
“Any public officials who may have authorised or helped in setting up such facilities should be held accountable.”
He also draws attention to the use of clandestine sites where suspects were taken for detention without any extradition procedures, charges laid or access to a lawyer:
“There is now credible evidence to show that CIA ‘black sites’ were located on the territory of Lithuania, Morocco, Poland, Romania and Thailand, and that the officials of at least 49 other States allowed their airspace or airports to be used for rendition flights.”