CIA's internal watchdog looks into cases of 'erroneous rendition'

The internal watchdog of U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is looking into several cases of "erroneous rendition," in which foreigners were mistakenly arrested and sent to a third country, U.S. media reported Tuesday.

CIA's internal watchdog looks into cases of 'erroneous rendition'

The so-called "rendition" refers to the CIA's secret operation of sending captured terror suspects to foreign countries to avoid domestic laws which ban torture during interrogation. The practice, authorized by U.S. President George W. Bush soon after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, has stirred up much controversy recently for its serious breach of international laws and human rights.

About 100 to 150 people have been snatched up in this way since Sept. 11, 2001. Some of them may be grabbed wrongly or, after further investigation, may not be as directly linked to terrorism as initially believed. At present, several cases of "erroneous rendition" are under the investigation of CIA Inspector General John Helgerson, the spy agency's internal watchdog.

One prominent case tells of the misery of Khaled al-Masri, a German citizen of Lebanese descent. Masri was captured by CIA agents in Macedonia in December 2003 and taken to Afghanistan in an apparent case of mistaken identity. He had been secretly detained and interrogated by U.S. intelligence officers for several months before being released without receiving any apology or compensation.

Earlier this month, Masri sued the CIA for arbitrarily detaining him and other alleged violations. In another case, Mamdouh Habib, an Egypt-born Australian, was arrested near the Pakistani-Afghan border shortly after 9/11 and flown to Cairo. For six months he was tortured there and was later transported to Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba before being released in 2005 without charge and allowed to return to Sydney.

Human rights groups has welcomed the CIA's internal investigation of "rendition." Tom Malinowski, Washington office director of Human Rights Watch, said he was glad so see that "the CIA is investigating the cases that they are aware of." Bush administration officials have claimed that these cases are "isolated instances" among over 80,000 terror suspects held by U.S. authorities since 9/11.

However, much remains unknown about the CIA's highly classified detention and interrogation practices, particularly when it grabs foreigners and spirits them away to other countries.

At facilities run by the CIA and the U.S. military, images of prisoner abuses and at least 26 cases of criminal homicides have raised questions about how U.S. authorities handle terror suspects.

Source: Englishpeople

Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
Add Comment