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General Topic Areas

Rendition (35)
legalProceedings (41)
Human Rights Groups (45)
Coverup (48)
Impunity (21)
Prisoner deaths (20)
High-level decisions and actions (131)
Indications of Abuse (36)
Statements/writings about torture (8)
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Private contractors (4)
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Indefinate Detention
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Supreme Court Decisions (4)
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Types of abuses performed by Americans

Use of dogs (11)
Forced confessions (9)
Mental abuse (7)
Sexual humiliation (34)
Physical assault (73)
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Electrodes (3)
Intimidation/threats (22)
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Specific Events

Qala-i-Janghi massacre (20)

US Bases and Interrogation Centers

Guantanamo (141)
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Packhorse (1)

People who have been detained

John Walker Lindh (32)
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Tarek Dergoul (11)
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Muhammed Al-Zery (2)
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Mohammed Saad Iqbal Madni (5)
6 men in Bosnia (4)
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Martin Mubanga (4)
Hiwa Abdul Rahman Rashul (3)
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Mohamed al-Khatani (4)
Saifullah Paracha (2)
David Hicks (3)
Feroz Abbasi (3)
Salim Ahmed Hamdan (6)
Ali Hamza Ahmad Sulayman al-Bahlul (2)
Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud al-Qosi (2)
Adullah Almalk (1)
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Assad (3)
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Hussein Abdelkadr Youssouf Mustafa (3)
Shafiq Rasul (20)
Rhuhel Ahmed (21)
Asif Iqbal (21)
Khoja Mohammad (1)
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Alif Khan (2)
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Sahim Alwan (3)
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Faysal Galab (3)
Yahya Goba (3)
Yaseinn Taher (3)
Abdul Jabar (1)
Mullah Rocketti (1)
Mohammed Ahmed al-Kandari (1)
Thamir Issawi (0)
Haydar Sabbar Abed (1)
Abd al-Rahim al Nashiri (1)
Jan Baz Khan (1)
Unnamed prisoners (42)
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Torture, rendition, and other abuses against captives in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere

 
  

Project: Prisoner abuse in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

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After September 11, 2001

       After the September 11 attacks, there is a dramatic increase in the frequency of US-requested “renditions.” [Washington Post, 5/11/2004; Los Angeles Times, 2/1/2003; Washington Post, 12/26/2002; Washington Post, 3/11/2002 Sources: Unnamed Western diplomats, intelligence sources, officials] Officially, the original purpose of renditions was to bring suspected foreign criminals, such as drugpins, to justice (see 1993-2004). But after September 11, it is used predominantly to arrest and detain foreign nationals designated as suspected terrorists and bring them to foreign countries that are willing to hold them indefinitely for further questioning and without public proceedings. [Washington Post, 1/2/2005; The New York Times, 3/9/2003; Washington Post, 5/11/2004; Washington Post, 3/11/2002 Sources: Unnamed US officials] According to one CIA officer interviewed by the Washington Post, after September 11, “The whole idea [becomes] a corruption of renditions—It's not rendering to justice, it's kidnapping.” [Washington Post, 1/2/2005] “There was a debate after 9/11 about how to make people disappear,” a former intelligence official will tell the New York Times in May 2004. [New York Times, 5/13/2004 Sources: Unnamed former administration official] By the end of 2002, the number of terrorism suspects sent to foreign countries is in the thousands. Many of the renditions involve captives from the US operation in Afghanistan. [Washington Post, 3/11/2002; Washington Post, 12/26/2002; Washington Post, 5/11/2004; Los Angeles Times, 2/1/2003 Sources: Unnamed Western diplomats, intelligence sources, officials] The countries receiving the rendered suspects are often known human rights violators like Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Morocco, all of which have histories of using torture and other unlawful methods of interrogation. The rendition program often ignores local and international extradition laws. [Washington Post, 3/11/2002 Sources: Unnamed US officials] In fact, US officials have admitted that the justification for rendition is sometimes fabricated—the US requests that a suspect be rendered, and then the allied foreign government charges the person “with a crime of some sort.” [Los Angeles Times, 2/1/2003; Washington Post, 12/26/2002 Sources: Unnamed US officials] After a suspect is relocated to another country, US intelligence agents may “remain closely involved” in the interrogations, sometimes even “doing [them] together” with the foreign government's intelligence service. [Washington Post, 3/11/2002; Washington Post, 5/11/2004; The New York Times, 3/9/2003 Sources: Unnamed US officials] The level of cooperation with Saudi interrogators is allegedly high. “In some cases,” according to one official, “we're able to observe through one-way mirrors the live investigations. In others, we usually get summaries. We will feed questions to their investigators.” He adds, however, “They're still very much in control.” [Washington Post, Thursday, 12/26/2002] Joint intelligence task forces, which consist of members from the CIA, FBI, and some other US law enforcement agencies, allegedly control to a large extent the approximately 800 terrorism suspects detained in Saudi Arabia. [Washington Post, 5/11/2004]
Countries involved in the practice of rendition -

Egypt - Amnesty International's 2003 annual report says that in Egypt, “Torture and ill-treatment of detainees continued to be systematic” during 2002. [Washington Post, 12/26/2002; Washington Post, 3/11/2002; Amnesty International, 2003]

Jordan - The State Department's 2001 annual human rights report states, “The most frequently alleged methods of torture include sleep deprivation, beatings on the soles of the feet, prolonged suspension with ropes in contorted positions, and extended solitary confinement.” US officials are quoted in the Washington Post in 2002 calling Jordan's interrogators “highly professional.” [Washington Post, 3/11/2002; Washington Post, 12/26/2002]

Morocco - Morocco “has a documented history of torture, as well as longstanding ties to the CIA.” [Washington Post, 3/11/2002; Washington Post, 12/26/2002]

Syria - Amnesty International's 2003 annual report notes: “Hundreds of political prisoners remained in prolonged detention without trial or following sentences imposed after unfair trials. Some were ill but were still held in harsh conditions. Ten prisoners of conscience were sentenced to up to 10 years' imprisonment after unfair trials before the Supreme State Security Court (SSSC) or the Criminal Court. There were fewer reports of torture and ill-treatment, but cases from previous years were not investigated. At least two people died in custody.” [Amnesty International, 2003; Washington Post, 12/26/2002]

 Additional Info 
          

(October 2001-2004)

       The United States government creates a multi-layered international system of detention centers and prison camps where suspected terrorists, enemy combatants, and prisoners of war are detained and interrogated. [Washington Post, 5/11/2004] The Washington Post reports in May 2004: “The largely hidden array includes three systems that only rarely overlap: the Pentagon-run network of prisons, jails, and holding facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo, and elsewhere; small and secret CIA-run facilities where top al-Qaeda and other figures are kept; and interrogation rooms of foreign intelligence services—some with documented records of torture—to which the US government delivers or ‘renders’ mid- or low-level terrorism suspects for questioning.... The detainees have no conventional legal rights: no access to a lawyer; no chance for an impartial hearing; and ... no apparent guarantee of humane treatment accorded prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions or civilians in US jails.” [Washington Post, 5/11/2004] One administration official tells the New York Times that some high-level detainees may be held indefinitely. [New York Times, 5/13/2004 Sources: Unnamed administration official] Secrecy permeates the system. For example, renditions are done covertly and the locations of the secret CIA-run interrogation centers are considered “so sensitive that even the four leaders of the House and Senate intelligence committees, who are briefed on all covert operations, do not know them.” [Washington Post, 5/11/2004] In May 2004, it is estimated that there are 10,000 prisoners being held in US facilities around the world. They come from a number of countries including Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the Palestinian territories, and Yemen. [The New Zealand Herald, 5/13/2004]
          

January 2, 2005

       The Washington Post reports that according to intelligence, defense, and diplomatic officials, the administration is considering “long-range plans for indefinitely imprisoning suspected terrorists whom they do not want to set free or turn over to courts in the United States or other countries.” The newspaper explains that those who would be considered for lifetime imprisonment include “hundreds of people now in military and CIA custody whom the government does not have enough evidence to charge in courts,” as well as people who are “captured in the course of future counterterrorism operations.” These prisoners would be sentenced to lifetime prison terms without ever being tried or charged with a crime. One of the plans being considered would involve transferring detainees to US-built prisons located in detainees' home countries. Another option would be to build a large $25 million, 200-person, modern prison in Guantanamo. [Washington Post, 1/2/2005]
          


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