DONALD RUMSFELD CHARGED WITH TORTURE DURING TRIP TO FRANCE

Complaint Filed Against Former Defense Secretary for Torture, Abuse at Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib

Today, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) along with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), and the French League for Human Rights (LDH) filed a complaint with the Paris Prosecutor before the "Court of First Instance" (Tribunal de Grande Instance) charging former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld with ordering and authorizing torture.


Documents
- the complaint ::: ONLY FRENCH VERSION



- Testimony of Former Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, the Former Head of Abu
Ghraib




- List of key-documents mainly in FR

JPEG - 53.2 kb


Rumsfeld was in Paris for a talk sponsored by Foreign Policy magazine.

"The filing of this French case against Rumsfeld demonstrates that we will not rest until those U.S. officials involved in the torture program are brought to justice. Rumsfeld must understand that he has no place to hide. A torturer is an enemy of all humankind," said CCR President Michael Ratner.

"France is under the obligation to investigate and prosecute Rumsfeld’s accountability for crimes of torture in Guantanamo and Iraq. France has no choice but to open an investigation if an alleged torturer is on its territory. I hope that the fight against impunity will not be sacrificed in the name of politics. We call on France to refuse to be a safe haven for criminals." said FIDH President Souhayr Belhassen.

"We want to combat impunity and therefore demand a judicial investigation and a criminal prosecution wherever there is jurisdiction over the torture incidents," said ECCHR General Secretary Wolfgang Kaleck.

"The impunity of a criminal government is always intolerable. That the US is the hyperpower of the moment and especially that it is a democracy makes the impunity of Donald Rumsfield even more unbearable than that of an Hissène Habré or a Radovan Karadzic" announced Jean-Pierre Dubois, LDH President.

The criminal complaint states that because of the failure of authorities in the United States and Iraq to launch any independent investigation into the responsibility of Rumsfeld and other high-level U.S. officials for torture despite a documented paper trail and government memos implicating them in direct as well as command responsibility for torture – and because the U.S. has refused to join the International Criminal Court – it is the legal obligation of states such as France to take up the case.

In this case, charges are brought under the 1984 Convention against Torture, ratified by both the United States and France, which has been used in France in previous torture cases.

French courts therefore have an obligation under the Convention against Torture to prosecute individuals responsible for acts of torture if they are present on French territory [1] . This will be the only case filed while he is in the country, which makes the obligations to investigate and prosecute under international law extremely strong.

Rumsfeld’s presence on French territory gives French courts jurisdiction to prosecute him for having ordered and authorized torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and elsewhere.

In addition, having resigned from his position of U.S. Secretary of Defense a year ago, Rumsfeld can no longer try to claim immunity as a head of state or government official. Nor can he claim immunity as former state official, as international law does not recognize such immunity in the case of international crimes including the crime of torture.

Former U.S. Army Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, former commander of Abu Ghraib and other U.S.-run prisons in Iraq, submitted written testimony to the Paris Prosecutor for the plaintiffs’ case on Rumsfeld’s responsibility for the abuse of detainees.

This is the fifth time Rumsfeld has been charged with direct involvement in torture stemming from his role in the Bush administration’s program of torture post-9/11.

Two previous criminal complaints were filed in Germany under its universal jurisdiction statute, which allows Germany to prosecute serious international crimes regardless of where they occurred or the nationality of the perpetrators or victims. One case was filed in fall 2004 by CCR, FIDH, and Berlin attorney Wolfgang Kaleck; that case was dismissed in February 2005 in response to official pressure from the U.S., in particular from the Pentagon.

The second case was filed in fall 2006 by the same groups as well as dozens of national and international human rights groups, Nobel Peace Prize winners and the United Nations former Special Rapporteur on Torture. The 2006 complaint was presented on behalf of 12 Iraqi citizens who had been held and abused in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and one Saudi citizen still held at Guantánamo. This case was dismissed in April 2007, and an appeal will be filed against this decision next week.

Two other cases were filed against Rumsfeld in Argentina in 2005 and in Sweden in 2007.


Press contact : Arthur Manet, Tél: +33 6 72 28 42 94 (Paris)



List of key-documents

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1.Statuts de l’association Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l’Homme (FIDH)

2.Statuts de l’association Ligue française des droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen (LDH)

3.Statuts de l’association Center for Constitutional Rights

4.Statuts de l’association European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights

5.« La creation de tribunaux militaries pour juger des personnes soupçonnées de terorisme suscite une vive polémique aux Etats-Unis"

6.« Mémorandum n°5 – Secrétaire de la défense – Note destinée au responsable du Comité des Chefs d’Etats-Majors Interarmes », 19 janvier 2002 (traduction en français du document original "Memo 5 – Secretary of Defense, Memorandum for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff », January 19, 2002)

PDF - 83.5 kb

7.Liste des détenus de Guantanamo qui sont passé devant les Tribunaux d’examen du statut d’ennemi combattant (CSRT)

PDF - 487.1 kb

8.« Mémorandum n°21 – Secrétaire de la défense – Techniques de contre-résistance», 27 novembre 2002 et annotation de Donald Rumsfeld en date du 2 décembre 2002 (traduction en français du document original "Memo 21 – Secretary of Defense, Counter-Resistance Techniques», November 27, 2002 with annotation from former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld)

PDF - 101.9 kb

9.« Report on torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatement of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay », Center for Constitutional Rights, juillet 2006

10.« Faces of Guantanamo : Guantanamo’s Many Wrongly Imprisoned», Center for Constitutional Rights, avril 2007

11.Amnesty International, "Etats-Unis. Un nouveau rapport d’Amnesty International condamne les conditions de détention à Guantanamo", 5 avril 2007 et Communiqué de presse « Etats-Unis. Guantanamo : quatre ans de trop Nouveaux témoignages de torture», 11 janvier 2006

12.Commission des droits de l’Homme, Situation des personnes détenues à Guantanamo Bay, Rapport soumis par la Présidente-Rapporteuse du Groupe de travail sur la détention arbitraire, Mme Leila Zerrougui, le Rapporteur spécial sur l’indépendance des juges et des avocats, M. Léandro Despouy, le Rapporteur spécial sur la torture et autres peines ou traitements cruels, inhumains ou dégradants, M. Manfred Nowak, la Rapporteuse spéciale sur la liberté de religion ou de conviction, Mme Asma Jahangir et le Rapporteur spécial sur le droit qu’a toute personne de jouir du meilleur état de santé physique et mentale possible, M. Paul Hunt, E/CN.4/2006/120, 27 février 2006

PDF - 329 kb

13.Registre d’interrogatoire de M. AL-Qhatani à Guanatanamo, Interrogation Log Detainee 063, 23 November 2002 – 11 January 2003

14.Déclaration de Maître Gitanjali S. Gutierrez, avocate de Mohammed Al-Qhatani (traduction en français de Declaration of Gitanjali S. Gutiierez, Esq., Lawyer for Mohammed al Qhatani)

PDF - 140.3 kb

15.Couverture de l’ouvrage de Nizar Sassi, « Prisonnier 325, Camp Delta : de Vénissieux à Guantanamo », éditions Denöel

PDF - 43.7 kb

16.« France : un ancien détenu français de Guantanamo porte plainte »

17.Couverture de l’ouvrage de Mourad Benchellali, Voyage vers l’enfer, éditions Robert Laffont

PDF - 54.2 kb

18.« Deux français dénoncent les sévices subis à Guantanamo », Le Figaro, 3 juillet 2006

19.Cour de cassation, Chambre criminelle, 4 janvier 2005, Bulletin criminel N°1 p.1

PDF - 92.3 kb

20.Témoignage de Madame Janis KARPINSKI, ancienne Brigadier Général de l’Armée américaine en charge du Centre de détention d’Abu Graib en Irak, en soutien à la plainte devant les juridictions pénales françaises contre l’ancien Secrétaire d’Etat Donald Rumsfeld, 24 octobre 2007 (en anglais Testimony of Former Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, the Former Head of Abu Ghraib, for the French criminal procedure against former American Secretary of Defense Donal Rumsfled, Wednesday, October 24th., 2007)

PDF - 688.8 kb

21.Extraits du Rapport d’enquête interne de la 205ème brigade de service de renseignement militaire daté du 9 août 2004 dit « Rapport Fay/Jones », p. 96-108

22.« Mémorandum n°27 – Secrétaire de la défense – Note destinée au Commandant de US SOUTHCOM Techniques de contre-résistance dans la guerre contre le terrorisme», 16 avril 2003 (traduction en français du document original "Memo 27 – Secretary of Defense, Memorandum for the Commander, US SOUTHERN COMMAND, Counter-Resistance Techniques in the War on Terrorism», April 16, 2003)

PDF - 640.3 kb

23.Evolution des techniques d’interrogatoire – Guantanamo, Naval IG Investigation, Annexe E (traduction en français du document original Evolution of Interrogation Techniques – GTMO, Naval IG Investigation Appendix E)

PDF - 68.5 kb

24.« Mémorandum n°6 – Ministère de la Justice - Re : Application des traités et loi à Al Qaeda et aux détenus talibans, 22 janvier 2002 (traduction en français du document original "Memo 6 – U.S. Department of Justice, Re : Application of Treaties and Laws to al Qaeda and Taliban Detainees Memorandum for the Commander, US SOUTHERN COMMAND, Counter-Resistance Techniques in the War on Terrorism», April 16, 2003)

PDF - 807.5 kb

25.Memo 11 – White House – Humane Treatment of al Qaeda and Taliban Detainees, February 7, 2002

PDF - 335.5 kb

26.« Mémorandum n°14 – Ministère de la Justice - Re : Normes de conduite d’interrogatoire en vertu du titre 18 du Code des Etats-Unis §§ 2340-2340A, 1 aout 2002 (traduction en français du document original "Memo 14 – U.S. Department of Justice, Re : Standards of Conduct for Interrogation under 18 U.S.C. §§2340-2340A», August 1, 2002)

PDF - 149.1 kb

27.Comité contre la torture, Examen des rapports soumis par les Etats Parties en application de l’article 19 de la Convention, Conclusions et recommandations du Comité contre la torture, Etats-Unis d’Amérique, Trente-sixième session, CAT/C/USA/CO/2, 25 juillet 2006

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