The US government should account for all the missing detainees once held by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the Prez.
At the same time, the group released a 50-page report, “Ghost Prisoner: Two Years in Secret CIA Detention,” which contains a detailed description of a secret CIA prison from a Palestinian former detainee who was released from custody last year.
Last year, the president admitted the existence of the secret prisons for the first time when he revealed 14 detainees had been transferred to Guantanamo Bay, but said the centres had now all closed and the prisoners were all accounted for.
The following comes from the site Afro American Newspapers.
Groups says dozens missing from CIA prisons
By Leonard Sparks
AFRO Staff Writer
Nearly six months after President Bush announced that the last of detainees held in secret overseas prisons run by the Central Intelligence Agency had been transferred to Guantanamo Bay, a human rights organization said dozens of people who may have been held in those prisons are still missing.
Human Rights Watch said the whereabouts of 16 people that it believes were imprisoned and 22 others that may have been imprisoned are still unknown.
In a letter to the president, the New York-based organization called for the release of information about the whereabouts of those missing people.
"President Bush told us that the last 14 CIA prisoners were sent to Guantanamo, but there are many other prisoners 'disappeared' by the CIA whose fate is still unknown," said Joanne Mariner, terrorism and counterterrorism director at Human Rights Watch. "The question is, what happened to these people and where are they now?"
The network of prisons—believed to be spread around Afghanistan and Eastern Europe—was first revealed in a series of Washington Post articles in November 2005. During a televised speech last September, the president acknowledged the existence of the program. Bush said the prisons contained a "small number of terrorist leaders and operatives." The president said interrogation procedures were vetted by the Department of Justice and said the "procedures were tough and they were safe, and lawful and necessary."
Human Rights Watch said it was concerned that some prisoners may have been transferred to foreign facilities—where they continue under CIA control—or transferred to other countries where they face torture.
"The Bush administration needs to provide a full accounting of everyone who was 'disappeared' into CIA prisons, including their names, locations and when they left U.S. custody," Mariner said.
Human Rights Watch also released a 50-page report that includes an interview with Marwan Jabour, a Palestinian held for two years in one of the prisons.
Jabour said he was arrested in May 2004 in Pakistan and held for a month in a secret detention facility in Islamabad, the country's capital.
He said he was then flown to what he believes was Afghanistan, where he endured torture, sleep deprivation, and was shackled naked to a wall.
Jabour said his American interrogators threatened to put him in a "dog box," a 3-foot-by-3-foot wooden box.
"They said that KSM [suspected terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed] had spent some time in the dog box and then he talked. They kept threatening me: 'We could do this to you.'"
As another form of punishment, Jabour said, interrogators would often shackle his hands to his ankles and then to the floor, leaving him in that position for a half hour to an hour.
"At times it was difficult to breathe," he said.
Jabour said he was told he was being released on July 30, 2006. Flown to Jordan, he was eventually transferred to Israel and then reunited with his family.