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CIA agents who tortured are vulnerable to prosecution in ‘any country in the world,’ says U.N. official

December 12th, 2014
08:43 AM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

CIA agents who tortured inmates can be prosecuted anywhere in the world, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism, Ben Emmerson, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday.

“They are considered as war crimes, they are crimes of international jurisdiction,” he said.

“Any country in the world can prosecute CIA agents involved in this activity, and Italy already has prosecuted, convicted 22 CIA agents, including the Milan station chief, and sentenced them to significant periods in prison in absentia.”

Italy sentenced the agents, including CIA station chief Robert Seldon Lady, to prison in absentia in 2009 for their role in the alleged CIA capture of a Muslim cleric on the streets of Milan; prosecutors there said that Osama Mustafa Hassan Nasr was then rendered to Cairo, where he was tortured.

This danger of prosecution, of course, means that any CIA agent involved in the program could potentially be arrested whenever he or she leaves the United States.

A former chief prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay, Colonel Morris Davis, told Amanpour on Tuesday that “my advice would be vacation domestically.”

FULL POST


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • Torture • U.S. Politics

U.S. Department of Justice performed ‘abominably’ over CIA torture program

December 11th, 2014
06:12 PM ET

By Madalena Araujo, CNN

The CIA "enhanced interrogation" program, what amounted to torture, would not have been initiated if the Department of Justice had not performed “so abominably,” former U.S. Navy General Counsel Alberto Mora told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday in an exclusive interview.

Mora was one of the first critics of the brutal interrogation tactics at Guantanamo Bay during the Bush administration, and led efforts within the U.S. Defense Department to try to halt the program, which was catalogued in an extensive Senate report on Tuesday.

“What a different place we’d be in today if the Department of Justice had not performed so abominably and abdicated its professional responsibilities to the country, to the President, to the agencies, and had provided quality legal advice on these kinds of issues.”

“There wouldn’t be the confusion that is evident in [CIA] director Brennan’s comments nor… We would not have entered into the torture programs that the nation entered into.”

Mora’s comments followed a rare press conference given by the CIA Director John Brennan, in which he stood by the organization but questioned some of its tactics.

FULL POST


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • Torture • U.S. Politics

Exclusive: Jason Rezaian's mother makes emotional appeal for jailed journalist's release

December 11th, 2014
12:41 PM ET

Mary Rezaian, mother of Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, appeals to Iran's leadership in English and Farsi. Click above to watch.

Amanpour's full interview with Mary Rezaian airs Friday at 2pm ET, 8pm CET on CNN International.


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Iran

Ugandan President Museveni says his party is ‘having very intensive internal discussions’ about anti-gay bill

December 10th, 2014
12:55 PM ET

By Madalena Araujo, CNN

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday that his party is discussing the anti-gay law that was scrapped in August.

“We are discussing that issue among ourselves in our party, and when we decide how to move we shall inform the public. We are discussing it internally within our party.”

Uganda’s anti-gay bill was signed by Museveni into law in February but has since been annulled. It defined homosexual acts as crimes punishable by life in prison and drew a huge amount of condemnation within the country and worldwide.

Musevini said he “did not sign the bill” when it was initially passed by Parliament, but “later on,” he explained, “I signed it because of some provocations from outside, because we didn't like lectures which were emanating from certain quarters.”

At the time, a defiant Musevini told CNN that "if the West doesn't want to work with us because of homosexuals, then we have enough space here to live by ourselves and do business with other people."

FULL POST


Filed under:  al-Shabaab • Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • Uganda

CNN profiles Nobel laureates Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi

December 10th, 2014
12:12 PM ET

Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi received their Nobel Peace Prizes in Oslo on Wednesday, and CNN has profiled the people - and work - that has propelled them to worldwide recognition.

Malala's Swat Valley mired in challenges
Can Pakistan's Swat Valley, where Malala grew up, overcome its challenges and give girls the education they deserve?

Rescuing India's children from slavery
India has the most child laborers in the world. Kailash Satyarthi has devoted his life to fighting that distinction.

From child laborer to law student
For generations, Amarlal's family worked in India's quarries. Then Kailash Satyarthi rescued him a life of labor.

Will Nobel end Malala's sibling rivalry?

December 10th, 2014
12:08 PM ET

Malala Yousafzai says she still fights with her brothers. So Christiane Amanpour asks, will a Nobel Prize bring peace?


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour

CIA torture methods ‘are war crimes,’ says former Guantanamo chief prosecutor

December 9th, 2014
07:00 PM ET

By Madalena Araujo, CNN

The abuses committed in the CIA’s "enhanced interrogation" program during the George W. Bush Administration were war crimes in the eyes of international law, Former Chief Prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay Colonel Morris Davis told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.

“These are also crimes in the international community, and we can’t, and we have no authority outside our borders to excuse this conduct so these are war crimes, are violations of the Convention against Torture.”

The U.S. Senate has for the first time laid bare the shocking wrongdoings carried out in the CIA’s network of black site detention centers between 2002 and 2008, following the September 11th attacks.

Colonel Davis said he “wasn’t shocked by the particulars and the techniques that were employed.”

“We’ve all heard about waterboarding and some of the other things that were done to the detainees as part of the program. I think what was breathtaking to the public looking at this is the quantity, the scope and the extent and the pervasiveness of this program that we’ve used for a period of time on a number of individuals.”

FULL POST


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • Torture • U.S. Politics • War Crimes

PR guru Lord Tim Bell on advising dictators and Margaret Thatcher

December 9th, 2014
02:56 PM ET

By Madalena Araujo, CNN

Public relations can be a tricky industry when you’re dealing with notorious clients.

Lord Tim Bell knows that better than most people, having advised some of the world’s most controversial personalities, including Chilean general Augusto Pinochet, dictatorial Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s wife Asma al-Assad.

“I've discovered,” Bell told CNN’s Amanpour on Monday, “you may not believe this, but I've discovered that in my life in advertising, and my life in public relations, that telling the truth is a damn sight more effective than not telling the truth.”

“So I tend to opt for the truth – if I’m told it. Now the problem I have is that I'm a conduit. So somebody tells me what happened, I don't know whether that's right or wrong.”

The king of spin said that what drove him to write his new memoir, “Right or Wrong”, was the thought that what he’d “experienced was worth telling people, not because I thought it would be fascinating and change the world, but because it just seemed to me to be necessary for somebody to speak up for the right-of-center thinking, which very few people talk about now.”

Bell, Chairman of Bell Pottinger public relations, is best known for advising friend and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the late 1970s, with a Conservative campaign under the slogan "Labour Isn't Working."

FULL POST

Release organizers unaware South Africa hostage Pierre Korkie was held with Luke Somers

December 8th, 2014
05:22 PM ET

By Madalena Araujo, CNN

The director of the aid group that led the effort to get South African teacher Pierre Korkie released by al Qaeda captors in Yemen told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday that his organization was unaware Korkie was being held with U.S. hostage Luke Somers.

“We also have the same problem as the Americans, we also didn’t know where Pierre was being held, we didn’t know he was with Luke Somers,” Imtiaz Sooliman, founder, director, and chairman of Gift of the Givers, told Amanpour.

Korkie and Somers, an American photojournalist, were both killed on Saturday in a failed U.S. rescue mission after the team on the ground “lost the element of surprise,” a senior State Department official told CNN.

The official also said the Obama administration was aware there were two individuals at the site but did not know one was South African or that negotiations were ongoing for his release.

On Friday, a team of tribal leaders was finalizing arrangements to release Korkie, Sooliman’s relief group said in a statement.

FULL POST


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • South Africa • Yemen

A cry for justice in America

December 5th, 2014
11:15 AM ET

Imagine a world where the cry for justice rises coast to coast, perhaps echoing the last words of Eric Garner as he pleaded to the police who were harassing him "this stops today."

Christiane Amanpour has the story.

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