[R-G] Amnesty Intl Slams USA's Secret Torture Jails
david.mcr at earthlink.net
Thu Aug 4 19:11:21 MDT 2005
Here is another story which can't be written off as an accident, the result
of a few
irresponsible men and women under pressure - it was policy, and those who
made that policy need to be named, held legally accountable.
That, I know, won't happen - but we should be asking members of Congress
steps they are taking. This is the kind of news we should not "receive in
> BBC News Online - August 4, 2005
> US challenged over 'secret jails'
> Two Yemeni men claim they were held in secret, underground US jails
> for more than 18 months without being charged, Amnesty International
> has said.
> The human rights group has called on the US to reveal details of the
> alleged secret detention of suspects abroad.
> Amnesty fears the case is part of a "much broader picture" in which
> the US holds prisoners at secret locations.
> The US has not responded to the claims, but the head of the CIA
> recently said the agency does not use torture.
> Porter Goss said in testimony to the US Senate torture was neither
> professional nor productive.
> Beaten on feet
> In the new report, Amnesty has urged the US to reveal where its
> alleged secret detention facilities are, stop using them and name
> the detainees held there.
> The two Yemeni men, Muhammad Faraj Ahmed Bashmilah and Salah Nasser
> Salim Ali, were arrested separately but reported almost identical
> experiences to Amnesty.
> Mr Muhammad says he was arrested in 2003 in Jordan, while Mr Salah
> says he was detained in Indonesia the same year and later flown to
> Both say they were tortured for four days by Jordanian intelligence
> Alleged methods include being beaten on the feet while bound and
> suspended upside-down. One of the men claims he was threatened with
> sexual abuse and electric shocks.
> Each says he was then flown to an unnamed underground jail, where he
> was held in solitary confinement for six to eight months with no
> access to lawyers.
> Both claim they were interrogated every day by US guards about their
> activities in Indonesia and Afghanistan.
> They say a period in a second underground prison followed, where
> loud Western music was piped into the cell 24 hours a day and
> questioning by US officials continued.
> The men were transferred in May this year to Yemen, where they are
> still being held without charge.
> Amnesty says the Yemeni authorities say they are only holding the
> men because the US has "made it a condition of their release from
> secret detention".
> Amnesty's Sharon Critoph, who interviewed the men in Yemen, said:
> "To be 'disappeared' from the face of the earth without knowing why
> or for how long is a crime under international law and an experience
> no-one should have to go through.
> "We fear that what we have heard from these two men is just one
> small part of the much broader picture of US secret detentions
> around the world."
> Michael Ratner, of the US campaign group Center for Constitutional
> Rights, said the report was the first to touch on the "netherworld
> of secret detention facilities that the CIA is running".
> Amnesty has previously reported on what it calls the long-term
> detention without trial or charge of prisoners in Yemen at the
> request of US authorities.
> The US has also faced questions over its use of "rendition", a
> process by which terror suspects are sent for interrogation by
> security officials in other countries, some of which are accused of
> using torture.
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