Study says 54 countries helped CIA renditions



Shaun Tandon | AFP

Published — Wednesday 6 February 2013

Last update 6 February 2013 4:14 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

WASHINGTON: Fifty-four foreign governments assisted the CIA in a global campaign that included harsh interrogations of suspects, a rights advocacy group said Tuesday, as it pressed for greater accountability.
The report by Open Society Foundations marks the most comprehensive list of countries that helped the United States in what critics saw as excesses by then president George W. Bush’s administration after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Bush authorized “extraordinary rendition” — the transferring of individuals without legal process — to allow US and foreign intelligence agencies to interrogate alleged extremists outside the protections ensured on US soil.
The Open Society Foundations found evidence that 54 foreign governments supported the system by actions such as hosting CIA prisons, interrogating suspects, allowing airspace for secret flights or providing intelligence.
Many of the cases involve countries that have long fought Islamic militants on their home territory such as Afghanistan, Egypt, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
The report also listed close US allies such as Australia, Britain, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and Thailand.
South Africa was listed in part due to allegations the Pretoria government gave US intelligence the green light in 2003 to abduct Saud Memon, a Pakistani suspected in the slaying of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.
Memon died shortly after his release in Pakistan in 2007.
The study also listed Iran, saying that despite poor relations with the United States, Tehran indirectly handed over at least 10 suspects — mostly Arabs — to US custody via the Kabul government.
The report called for accountability both in the United States and overseas, saying there was “no doubt” that Bush administration officials authorized what it called human rights violations.
“By engaging in torture and other abuses associated with secret detention and extraordinary rendition, the US government violated domestic and international law, thereby diminishing its moral standing and eroding support for its counterterrorism efforts worldwide,” the report said.
But it said that other nations also bore responsibility. Only Canada has apologized for its role, while three other countries — Australia, Britain and Sweden — have also offered compensation to individuals.
President Barack Obama ordered an end to harsh interrogations when he took office in 2009. But the Open Society Foundations criticized Obama for still allowing renditions if other countries promise to treat prisoners humanely.
The group named 136 individuals subjected to extraordinary detention and rendition. As the report focused on secret CIA operations, it did not cover the Pentagon’s controversial detention of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The Central Intelligence Agency kept some prisoners in Guantanamo Bay and also secretly held detainees in Afghanistan, Lithuania, Morocco, Poland, Romania and Thailand, the report said.
In detention, some prisoners were thrown against fake walls, forced into stressful physical functions, involuntarily stripped naked and slapped, the report said.
Former CIA chief Michael Hayden has previously confirmed that the US interrogators subjected three men to waterboarding, a drowning simulation that rights advocates consider to be torture.
The US Senate committee on intelligence in December approved a 6,000-page report on the CIA tactics. While the contents are classified, Senator Dianne Feinstein, the committee’s chairwoman, said that secret detention sites and harsh interrogation were “terrible mistakes.”
The CIA declined comment on the report. Some lawmakers and intelligence professionals have vigorously defended “enhanced interrogation techniques” as necessary against a ruthless enemy.
Hayden, speaking at a think tank last month, recalled telling European ambassadors in 2007 when he was CIA director: “We’re at war with Al-Qaeda and its affiliates, this war is global in scope, and my moral and legal responsibility is to take that fight to this enemy wherever they may be.”
The Open Society Foundations were founded by George Soros, the billionaire liberal philanthropist.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

SYDNEY: Amnesty International has demanded that Mustafa Al-Hosawi, a Saudi prisoner at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, be treated for the torture he underwent at the hands of the CIA.The US branch of the organization sent a message to health officials at the...
JEDDAH: The city’s airport staff saved a 20-year-old woman who tried to throw herself from the upper floor to the mezzanine floor in the southern hall. Sources said the suicide attempt was due to family disputes. Administrators said a supervisor in t...
RIYADH: Education Minister Ahmad Al-Issa has ordered to gradually close down private night schools beginning from the current year. The closure of these schools will be complete by 1439H.Al-Issa’s decision is based on reports of a body, which highlig...
RIYADH: Riyadh and Phnom Penh have signed a labor deal to recruit domestics and general workers from Cambodia.Labor Minister Mufrej Al-Haqabani and his Cambodian counterpart Ait Samana signed the agreement.Al-Haqabani said the Kingdom is keen on open...
Jeddah: The Criminal Court in Jeddah has sentenced a man to nine months in jail for beating his wife and insulting her by calling her “stubborn and ignorant.” The man has also been required to make a written pledge not to go near his wife, while the...
MUNICH: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister defended his country’s treatment of women on Friday, saying it had made progress on female education but would take time to let them drive cars.“When it comes to issues like women’s driving, this is not a relig...
RIYADH: A cross-section of Saudi society on Friday denounced the Jazan massacre that shook the nation on Thursday, when a gunman went on the rampage killing seven education officials and injuring several others in Al-Dair governorate.The culprit, ide...
JEDDAH: Maj. Gen. Awad Al-Balawi, head of the Saudi Border Guard, recently confirmed the expansion of the employment program for women within the border security sector. He said that the sector is entering a new phase as women will be employed in a n...
RIYADH: A medical team of the King Abdullah Specialist Children’s Hospital (KASCH) at the King Abdulaziz Medical City (National Guard) here have successfully conducted the first liver transplant on a baby boy. Fahad Mari Said Al-Sairdh, father of the...
JEDDAH: The Makkah Investigation and Prosecution Board reintroduced the crane crash incident to the Riyadh Investigation and Prosecution Board recently, adding 10 more employees and supervisors from different government agencies before the courts. Th...
JEDDAH: The teacher who gunned down seven education officials in Al-Dair governorate on Thursday had been showing behavioral problems in recent days, Al-Janob Misfer Al-Subhan, director of King Faisal Secondary School in Dharan, was quoted as saying...
JEDDAH: The Human Rights Commission (HRC) is investigating the Nakheel Mall case, in which a girl was beaten up by a group of Haia members, an official of the commission has said. “The HRC is supposed to guarantee the rights of those harmed, whoever...
AL-AHSA: King Faisal University (KFU) in Al-Ahsa is currently studying the possibility of admitting female students to specialize in veterinary medicine, the director of the university, Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saati, confirmed. He said the matter has been p...
JEDDAH: A fingerprinting campaign, titled “Imprint Homeland,” against extremism and terrorism, was launched at the Jeddah corniche on Thursday night. The drive will cover all the 17 regions of Makkah province.The campaign, initiated by the Makkah gov...
RIYADH: The number of unemployed Saudi nationals reached 647,000 by the end of last year, of whom 56 percent, or 363,800, hold bachelor’s degrees or licenses. Female bachelor’s degree and license holders accounted for three-fourths of unemployed Saud...

Stay Connected

Facebook