'Renditions' Target Somali Refugees

Mostly Somalis including children and women who fled their war-torn country to Kenya, have been flown secretly from Nairobi to Ethiopia and Somalia where they were questioned by American and British officials in underground prisons.

'Renditions' Target Somali Refugees

In reminiscence of the notorious USrendition flights, at least 150 people, mostly Somalis including children andwomen who fled their war-torn country to Kenya, have been flown secretly fromNairobi to Ethiopia and Somalia where they were questioned by American andBritish officials in underground prisons, The Independent revealed onFriday, March 23.

"This is extraordinary rendition," MainiKiai, chairman of the Kenya National Human Rights Commission, told the Britishpaper.

"Britainand Americaare involved in interrogating suspects."

Flight manifests seen by the paper show that threecharter planes left Nairobi for Somalia's capital Mogadishu, and Baidoa, the seat ofparliament, in January and February, carrying around 80 terror suspects.

The paper said the suspects are held incommunicadoand shackled to the wall in underground prisons at Mogadishu airport.

Most have since been sent on to two detentionfacilities in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, the paper added.

Following the US-backed invasion of Somalia by Ethiopian troops, thousands ofSomalis have tried to escape the violence by crossing the long, porous borderwith Kenya.

Many of those caught on the Kenya-Somalia borderwere accused of belonging to the Islamic Courts, which ruled Mogadishu briefly after trouncing a US-backedalliance of warlords last summer.

Since 9/11, the CIA has rendered more than 100people from one country to another, to put them in the infamous renditions,usually with well-documented records of abuse, without legal proceedings.

US President George W. Bush has strongly defended the CIArendition as "vital to the nation's defense."

Children Detained

The paper said the terror suspects arrested in Kenya included17 women and 12 children, one a baby of seven months.

It said many needed medical attention but did notreceive it, including a pregnant Tunisian woman who had a bullet lodged in herback.

All were held in Kenyan prisons for several weekswithout access to lawyers and family members, the paper added.

The paper said that the terror suspects werequestioned by FBI agents in Kenyan prisons before the renditions, and humanrights groups in Nairobialso claimed British officials were involved.

"The Americans had direct access to theprisoners, one on one," said Al-Amin Kimathi of the Muslim Human RightsForum.

He added that US diplomatic vehicles carried thesuspects from Nairobipolice stations to be questioned.

"Senior Kenyan police officers told us they hadnothing to do with the operation," said Kimathi.

"It was out of their hands."

Source:Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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