54 countries offered support to CIA rendition programme
A list of 54 countries, which includes the United Kingdom, was identified in a comprehensive report carried out by the New York based human rights organisation, Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI), for secretly supporting a wide-ranging CIA rendition programme.
Defined by the OSJI as “the transfer – without legal process – of a detainee to the custody of a foreign government for purposes of detention and interrogation”, the CIA rendition programme that was put into action after the events of 9/11 has been criticised by publications such as The Guardian for the “global kidnap, detention and torture operation[s]” that have taken place over the last ten years.
The 213-page report, entitled Globalizing Torture, criticises both the United States and the 54 countries identified and calls for an end to the use of secret detention and extensive rendition as used by governments today.
Stating “the time has come for The United States and its partners to definitively repudiate those illegal practices and secure accountability for the associated human rights abuses”, the Initiative’s report reveals damning revelations regarding the treatment of 136 suspects and offers a timely reflection on the use of torture and secret interrogation by the CIA.
Released on Tuesday 5th February, the report comes only days before the confirmation hearing of John Brennan, the chosen candidate to head the CIA for President Obama’s Second Administration.
Following the 2012 court ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that found the CIA responsible for the torture of German citizen Khalid el-Masri – after it was discovered that CIA agents had mistakenly identified him as a terrorist suspect – the OSJI report places mounting pressure on the CIA to reform their methods and no doubt John Brennan will face some uncomfortable questions later on in the week.
While the report maintains that the Bush administration initiated the rendition programme, it suggests that, without the cooperation of foreign governments, the CIA would not have able to carry out such extensive interrogations. The 54 countries, therefore, can be – and perhaps should be – considered to be just as culpable.
The 54 governments identified in the report include: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.