Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General requesting an immediate review of the conduct of Justice Department officials in response to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program, including possibly misleading statements about evidence of torture. Under the CIA program, at least 119 individuals between 2002 and 2008 were subjected to unlawful detention and secret transfers to unacknowledged prisons, where torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and enforced disappearances were inflicted.
U.S. personnel have evaded accountability for these crimes under international law, and may have committed additional crimes in facilitating and perpetuating this impunity. The Justice Department is charged with enforcing the law, identifying misconduct by federal officials and investigating and prosecuting crimes including torture. Nine months have passed since the Senate Intelligence Committee transmitted the full Senate report to the Justice Department.
“Nine months later, the Justice Department apparently still hasn’t even reviewed the Senate report,” said Naureen Shah, director of AIUSA’s Security and Human Rights Program. “The Justice Department’s failure to investigate new evidence of criminal wrongdoing sends the disturbing message that torture is acceptable.”
AIUSA’s complaint alleges that the Justice Department has made contradictory, and possibly misleading, statements to the public, Congress and the courts about the Senate report and failed to review evidence of human rights violations contained in the report. The complaint also alleges that the Justice Department failed to review evidence in the report concerning its own role in the commission of human rights violations in the CIA program, and has failed to develop reforms to address its institutional failures.
“The Justice Department has a legal obligation to fully investigate the evidence presented in the Senate Report,” said Shah. “Its inaction has impeded accountability and served to conceal its own failures. We’re calling on the Inspector General to investigate the Justice Department’s failure to do its job, including any misconduct by department personnel.”
AIUSA’s complaint is available here: http://www.amnestyusa.org/pdfs/OIGComplaintAmnestyInternationalUSA.pdf