[JURIST] The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) [advocacy website] on Monday filed [ECCHR report] a criminal complaint against a high-ranking CIA official for mistreatment of Khaled El-Masri, a German citizen who was detained and allegedly tortured for four months in 2003. El-Masri was on vacation in Macedonia when he was mistaken for Khalid Al-Masri, a suspect in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. El-Masri was then transported to Afghanistan where he was detained and questioned for four months under the direction of Alfreda Frances Bikowsky. At the time, Bikowsky was deputy chief of the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) Bin Laden Issue Station. ECCHR asserts in the complaint that the US Senate’s Torture Report [text] ties Bikowsky to El-Masri’s detention, and ECCHR requests that the German federal prosecutor investigate.
The majority of the ECCHR’s complaint is based on the so-called “Senate Torture Report” released in December, which found that “enhanced interrogation techniques” employed during the Bush administration were ineffective [JURIST report]. Earlier this month, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against two psychologists who devised the torture techniques used on three former CIA prisoners. In June a Guantanamo [JURIST backgrounder] detainee alleged that the CIA’s torture techniques went beyond [JURIST report] those described in the Senate Intelligence Committee report. In December the UN Special Rapporteur on counter terrorism and human rights called for the prosecution [JURIST report] of CIA and other government officials for the interrogation and torture of detainees. Last September it was claimed [JURIST report] that the CIA used torture methods beyond waterboarding on suspected terrorists, according to a report published by the Telegraph. In late August of last year 10 victims of the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program signed an open letter [JURIST report] to US President Barack Obama urging him to declassify the then-upcoming Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the program.