Two Tunisian men have come forward with claims of previously unreported accounts of torture at the hands of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website], according to a report [text] published by Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Monday. Ridha al-Najjar and Lotfi al-Arabi El Gherissi were reportedly arrested in Pakistan in 2002, detained by the CIA for 13 years without charges or a trial and were released in Tunisia last year. The report states that the men were threatened with an electric chair and coffin, dunked in ice-cold water, placed in diapers for days at a time and not fed properly. HRW believes that these accounts are significant because it proves that the 2014 Senate Summary on the CIA detention program is very limited and that there is a lot more that the public does not know about.
The US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released a report [JURIST backgrounder] in 2014 on the so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” employed during the Bush administration, calling the practices “ineffective” [JURIST report]. Days later, the UN Special Rapporteur on counter terrorism and human rights Ben Emmerson called for the prosecution [JURIST report] of CIA and other government officials for the interrogation and torture of detainees. HRW also urged [JURIST report] prosecution the following year. In June the CIA declassified [JURIST report] 50 documents related to its detention and Interrogation program following a Freedom of Information Act [text] request by the American Civil Liberties Union [advocacy website].