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August 17, 2006

CIA Contractor Guilty Of Abusing Detainee

NEW YORK- Following the guilty verdict in CIA contractor David Passaro's detainee abuse trial, Human Rights First called on the CIA to issue clear guidance to its agents and contractors that legal prohibitions on cruel, degrading and humiliating treatment applies to all detainees in CIA custody.

"While it is important to hold David Passaro accountable for his actions, future abuses will be prevented only if interrogation polices are clear and unambiguously ban cruelty and other unlawful abuse," said HRF Associate Attorney Priti Patel, who monitored the trial in Raleigh, North Carolina. "Beginning in 2002, the administration approved the CIA's use of unlawful techniques that led to abuse. Now, the CIA has an opportunity to turn the page and make sure that its interrogation policy is in line with U.S. and international law."

David Passaro, a CIA contractor, was charged with four counts of assault in connection with his role in the death of Abdul Wali, a detainee held by the United States in Afghanistan. Passaro is the only individual working for the CIA to be charged in connection with detainee abuse, even though internal government investigations implicated a number of CIA officials.

Human Rights First released a landmark report "Command's Responsibility," which analyzed the U.S. government's handling of nearly 100 detainee deaths in U.S. custody since 2002, including Abdul Wali. The report called for senior-level officials, including members of the CIA, to be held accountable for the abuse and deaths of detainees in their custody. For a copy of the report, please visit

http://www.humanrightsfirst.info/wp-content/uploads/pdf/06221-etn-hrf-dic-rep-web.pdf