Some 54 countries helped facilitate the Central Intelligence Agency’s secret detention, rendition and interrogation programme in years after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to a new human rights report that documents broad international involvement in the American campaign against al-Qaeda.
The report, titled Globalizing Torture and authored by Amrit Singh, daughter of Indian PM Manmohan Singh, was to be made public Tuesday by the Open Society Justice Initiative, a rights advocacy group. It is the most detailed external account of other countries’ assistance to the US, including things like permitting the CIA to run secret interrogation prisons on their soil and allowing the agency to use their airports for refuelling while moving prisoners around the world.
The report identifies 136 people held or transferred by the CIA, the largest list compiled to date, and describes what is known about when and where they were held. It adds new detail to what is known about the handling of both dedicated Qaeda operatives and innocent people caught up by accident in the global machinery of counter-terrorism.
Some of the harsh interrogation methods the CIA used on prisoners under President George W Bush remain the subject of fierce debate, with Bush administration officials asserting they were necessary to keep the country safe and critics saying the brutal interrogation techniques were illegal and ineffective. The debate has been renewed most recently with the release of Zero Dark Thirty, which portrays the use of torture in the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
When Obama took office in 2009, he rejected calls for a national commission to investigate such practices, saying he wanted to look forward.
Singh said she had found evidence that 25 countries in Europe, 14 in Asia and 13 in Africa lent some sort of assistance to the CIA, in addition to Canada and Australia.
“The moral cost of these programmes was borne not only by the US but also the 54 other countries it recruited to help,” Singh said.
AFGHANISTAN: Hosted at least three CIA prisons where detainees were secretly imprisoned, tortured, and abused. These prisons, located near Kabul, included a facility in the US air base in Bagram, the Dark Prison where detainees were held in total darkness, and an abandoned brick factory known as the Salt Pit. In all three locations, numerous detainees were held incommunicado, tortured, and abused for prolonged periods of time. Afghanistan also permitted the CIA to use its