12:46 GMT +320 March 2018
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    President Donald Trump, accompanied by CIA Director-designate Rep. Michael Pompeo, left, waits to speak at the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, Va., Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017

    'Pro-Torture Picks': Human Rights Watch Slams Pompeo's Appointment

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US Senate should block Mike Pompeo's nomination to be the next secretary of state and Gina Haspel's candidacy to become the CIA director due to their history of support of torture, the advocacy group Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a press release

    "Given their histories, the potential for Pompeo and Haspel to endorse abusive practices and lend support for their use abroad should convince the Senate to reject both nominations," the release said on Tuesday.

    President Donald Trump announced earlier in the day he was replacing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with current CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Gina Haspel, a CIA deputy director, was tapped to take Pompeo's job.

    The advocacy group said Pompeo has not denounced the US government's use of interrogation techniques and mass surveillance. Therefore, the Human Rights Watch warned Pompeo's views would hurt the international community, if he was confirmed as secretary of state.

    According to the New York Times, Haspel oversaw the interrogation of a detainee, Abu Zubaydah, who was waterboarded 83 times in a single month before interrogators concluded he had no useful information.

    The Senate is set to hold confirmation hearings for both candidates in April.


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    appointment, torture, critics, Human Rights Watch, Gina Haspel, Pompeo, United States
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