New York, NY - On January 28, 2015, the International Justice Network (IJN) joined a coalition of leading civil rights, civil liberties, and human rights organizations in sending a letter to President Obama.
The January 28 letter urges President Obama to direct the relevant federal agencies and departments to review the full CIA torture report that the Senate Intelligence Committee sent to President Obama in December 2014. The letter argues that review of the full report is necessary to adopt appropriate reforms that will ensure that the horrific abuses authorized by the CIA torture and detention program are permanently eradicated from official U.S. policy. The letter also urges President Obama to reject the request of Chairman Richard Burr - the new Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee - that President Obama return all copies of the report.
The letter emphasizes that no agencies or departments have yet begun a comprehensive review of the report. Instead, several agencies and departments have locked the report away, or otherwise prohibited staff members from viewing the report. IJN and other organizations are deeply concerned that these actions signal an attempt to prevent the public from ever having access to the full report under the Freedom of Information Act, as well as an unwillingness to openly confront past wrongs in order to shape better policies for the future.
The Executive Summary of the CIA torture report was released to the public at the same time the full report was sent to President Obama. The Executive Summary confirms that the CIA program authorized the torture of IJN client Redha al-Najar, who was tortured while in CIA custody for 700 days before being forcibly rendered to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan.