Spanish Judges Rule Case on US Torture Can Continue

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CCR Hails Major Victory for Accountability

Contact: press@ccrjustice.org

 

February 25, 2011, New York – In response to news that the full panel of Judges of the Audencia Nacional (Spain’s High Court) rejected a Spanish prosecutor’s effort to stop an investigation into the role of  US officials for torture on Guantanamo, the Center for Constitutional Rights, which has submitted many papers in this and a related case in Spain, released the following statement:
 
This is a monumental decision that will enable a Spanish judge to continue a case on the “authorized and systematic plan of torture and ill treatment” by U.S. officials at Guantanamo. Geoffrey Miller, the former commanding officer at Guantánamo, has already been implicated, and the case will surely move up the chain of command. Since the U.S. government has not only failed to investigate the illegal actions of its own officials and, according to diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks,  also sought to interfere in the Spanish judicial process and stop the case from proceeding, this will be the first real investigation of the U.S. torture program. This is a victory for accountability and a blow against impunity. The Center for Constitutional Rights applauds the Spanish courts for not bowing to political pressure and for undertaking what may be the most important investigation in decades.

For more information and filings related to the Spanish cases, both the above torture case and the Bush 6 case looking into the role of the lawyers in the torture program, visit the Spanish case page on the Center for Constitutional Rights web site.

CCR has also filed cases against Donald Rumsfeld in Germany and France, and, on February 7, released a Bush Torture Indictment under the Convention Against Torture in advance of the former president’s planned trip to Switzerland which was cancelled to avoid possible legal action. The Bush Torture Indictment stands ready to be tailored to the specific laws of any of the 147 signatory countries to the Convention Against Torture where he may travel.

CCR has led the legal battle over Guantanamo for the last nine years – sending the first ever habeas attorney to the base and sending the first attorney to meet with an individual transferred from CIA “ghost detention” to Guantanamo.  CCR has been responsible for organizing and coordinating more than 500 pro bono lawyers across the country to represent the men at Guantanamo, ensuring that nearly all have the option of legal representation. In addition, CCR has been working to resettle the approximately 30 men who remain at Guantánamo because they cannot return to their country of origin for fear of persecution and torture.

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.