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28 Nations Helped U.S. Detain Terror Suspects

By       Message Sherwood Ross     Permalink
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Twenty-eight nations have cooperated with the U.S. to detain in their prisons, and sometimes to interrogate and torture, suspects arrested as part of the U.S. "War on Terror."

The complicit countries have kept suspects in prisons ranging from public interior ministry buildings to "safe house" villas in downtown urban areas to obscure prisons in forests to "black" sites to which the International Committee of the Red Cross(ICRC) has been denied access.

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According to published reports, an estimated 50 prisons have been used to hold detainees in these 28 countries. Additionally, at least 25 more prisons have been operated either by the U.S. or by the government of occupied-Afghanistan in behalf of the U.S., and 20 more prisons have been similarly operated in Iraq.

As the London-based legal rights group Reprieve estimates the U.S. has used 17 ships as floating prisons since 2001, the total number of prisons operated by the U.S. and/or its allies to house alleged terrorist suspects since 2001 exceeds 100. And this figure may well be far short of the actual number.

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Countries that held prisoners in behalf of the U.S. based on published data are Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Libya, Lithuania, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Somalia, South Africa, Thailand, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Yemen, and Zambia. Some of the above-named countries held suspects in behalf of the Central Intelligence Agency(CIA); others held suspects in behalf the U.S. military, or both.

Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois, Champaign, termed the detention policies used by the U.S. "Crimes against Humanity":

"These instances of the enforced disappearances of human beings and their consequent torture, because they are both widespread and systematic, constitute Crimes against Humanity in violation of the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court, which have been ordered by the highest level officials of the United States government""

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Referring to President Bush and his principal advisers, Boyle continued, "Since these criminal activities took part in several states that are parties to the ICC Rome Statute, that renders these U.S. government officials subject to prosecution by the International Criminal Court on the grounds of territoriality of the offense, even though the United States is not a party to the Rome Statute."

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Sherwood Ross worked as a reporter for the Chicago Daily News and contributed a regular "Workplace" column for Reuters. He has contributed to national magazines and hosted a talk show on WOL, Washington, D.C. In the Sixties he was active as public (more...)
 

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