A new report reveals that at least 20 prisoners once held in CIA’s black site prisons still remain missing, four years after US President Barack Obama ordered them closed.
The report by investigative journalists studying the CIA’s notorious prisons, where “terror suspects” had been held and tortured, said that the whereabouts, and in some cases the identities, of the inmates remain unknown or uncertain.
The journalists working for ProPublica, a non-profit corporation based in New York City which claims to produce investigative journalism in the public interest, went through a 213-page report on secret CIA detentions published last week by Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI), a New York-based human rights organization.
The OSJI counted 136 prisoners who were either held in a CIA black site or subject to the so-called extraordinary rendition, in which detainees were secretly shipped off to other countries for interrogation.
The OSJI report also listed 54 countries that assisted Washington with the global kidnap, detention and torture operation that was mounted after 9/11, many of them in Europe.
“There is no doubt that high-ranking Bush administration officials bear responsibility for authorizing human rights violations associated with secret detention and extraordinary rendition, and the impunity that they have enjoyed to date remains a matter of significant concern,” the report, dubbed Globalizing Torture, said.
“But responsibility for these violations does not end with the United States. Secret detention and extraordinary rendition operations, designed to be conducted outside the United States under cover of secrecy, could not have been implemented without the active participation of foreign governments. These governments too must be held accountable,” the report added.
Former US President George W. Bush, together with a number of other high-ranking US officials, approved the establishment of secret prisons in foreign lands, as early as 2002, by its key spy agency in efforts to carry out harsh interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, to extract information from what they introduced as terror suspects.
The US administration sought to avoid accountability for its torturous interrogation tactics by establishing facilities in foreign, allied nations, since torture is specifically banned by the US Constitution.