Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

7 June 2007

'Off the record' secret CIA detention

'Off the record' secret CIA detention

At least 39 individuals who remain missing are believed to have been subjected to enforced disappearance by the US authorities. The wives and children of other detainees in secret CIA custody have also been held in custody and interrogated, either as potential sources of information or to secure the capture of their husband or father.

Based on research by six leading human rights groups - Amnesty International, Cageprisoners, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice and NYU School of Law, Human Rights Watch and Reprieve -, the briefing paper Off the Record provides the most comprehensive account of these 39 individuals' apprehension and detention to date, including four missing detainees here identified for the first time.

The full list includes cases of nationals from countries including Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Pakistan, Kenya and Spain. They were arrested in countries including Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Somalia and Sudan, and transferred to secret sites run by the US government.

In many cases, the current fate and whereabouts of detainees included on the list are completely unknown. In other cases, some speculative information has emerged in the press or through research and investigation.

In all cases, the US government’s silence has created grave uncertainty. The US government must end the use of secret detention, clarify the fate and whereabouts of all people who have been secretly detained and allow them access to their families and to adequate legal process.

The US has the duty to detain and bring to justice anyone responsible for crimes but it must do so in a manner that respects human rights and the rule of law.  

Background

On 6 September 2006, President Bush finally admitted what had long been reported – that, in its "war on terror", the USA administration has been resorting to secret detentions and enforced disappearance, which is a crime under international law. The transfer of a detainee to Guantánamo in April 2007 proved that the US network of secret detention was still operating, though the authorities have never disclosed how many individuals have been secretly detained.

 

Read More

Off the Record - U.S. Responsibility for Enforced Disappearances in the 'war on terror' (Report, 7 June 2007)

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