CIA report must lead to prosecutions: rights group

CIA report must lead to prosecutions: rights group
The lobby of the CIA Headquarters building in McLean, Virginia, is shown in this file photo.

LONDON - British-based advocacy group CAGE has demanded criminal proceedings following the release of a US Senate report that found CIA torture of Al-Qaeda suspects was far more brutal than acknowledged.

"This provides clear evidence for prosecution," said Amanda Thomas-Johnson, a spokesperson for CAGE, which campaigns against the "War on Terror".

"This kind of dodging of accountability is not new," she added. "We have recorded a series of crimes, identified victims and known perpetrators, but with no redress under the law. This shows that the US and its allies are operating outside the bounds of the law." Tuesday's report accused the Central Intelligence Agency of harsh interrogation techniques such as waterboarding, losing track of detainees and misleading the White House and Congress with inaccurate claims about the programme's usefulness in thwarting attacks.

Despite the report, CAGE's Moazzam Begg, a British former detainee at both Bagram airbase and Guantanamo Bay, said "we are not any closer toward accountability.

"In fact there has only been more hate and suspicion directed at former detainees who are probably the most interrogated people on the face of the earth," he added.

"These things are still happening today. Guantanamo is still open, as is Bagram, while renditions and disappearances by the Americans are still widespread.

"The rules of the game have certainly changed. Not just for the West, but for everyone." Fellow former Guantanamo detainee Shafiq Rasul said there seemed to be "a law for the Muslims and a law for the non-Muslims." The report revealed how a CIA operative used "Russian Roulette" to intimidate a prisoner and another - untrained in interrogation techniques - threatened to use a power drill.

Detainees were humiliated through the painful use of medically unnecessary "rectal feeding" and "rectal rehydration." One died of hypothermia while shackled and some suffered broken limbs.

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