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Gina Haspel was born in 1957 in Ashland, Kentucky. She holds a degree in languages and journalism from the University of Louisville. She joins the CIA in 1985. She served seven field mission, including several as Chief of Station, and becomes on May 18 2018, under Donald Trump’s presidency, the first woman to occupy the position of Director of the CIA.
In late October 2002, she was appointed Chief of Base of a secret detention centre – the Cat’s Eye” – in Thailand, where she is alleged to have developed a torture programme to fight against terror after the attacks of 9/11.
The CIA is accused of having planned, developed and exercised torture and other acts of cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment in its response to international terrorism since 2001. The CIA and the US armed forces allegedly arrested suspects in different locations worldwide, and brought them to US detention facilities located outside mainland US territory or rendered them to other states. As part of the detention and interrogation program, US official reportedly tortured detainees in these various detention centres (black sites) using diverse methods, as waterboarding for example.
On 9 December 2014, the German federal public prosecutor opened a monitoring procedure in response to the publication of the executive summary of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report on the CIA detention and interrogation program, and the criminal complaint filed by the ECCHR (European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights) on 17 December 2014. The monitoring procedure is still underway.
The ECCHR submitted further information on 28 July 2015 regarding witnesses and suspects with respect to CIA torture, and on 28 June 2016 with respect to torture at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib in Iraq.
On 6 June 2017, the ECCHR submitted to the Office of the German Federal Public Prosecutor evidence regarding Gina Haspel’s role in the torture of detainees in a secret CIA detention center in Thailand in 2002. A follow-up submission was filled by the ECCHR on 10 September 2018 with new information that had come to light after Gina Haspel was nominated as CIA Director, position confirmed by the US Senate on 17 May 2018.
In September 2018, the complaint was also joined by Guantanamo detainee Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who was tortured at the CIA “black site” in Thailand during the period in which Gina Haspel is reported to have served as Chief of Base at the prison.