Tag Archives: Torture

20 September 2012

Italy convicts CIA rendition agents

On Wednesday 19 September, an Italian judge convicted 23 US secret agents over the 2003 abduction of Egyptian imam Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, from a Milan street in an extraordinary rendition by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Abu Omar alleged that, after his seizure in Milan, he was taken to a US air force base in northeastern Italy, then flown to the US base in Ramstein, Germany, and on to Cairo. The operation was allegedly co-ordinated by the CIA and Italy’s military intelligence service. He was released after four years in prison without being charged, and currently lives in Egypt.

Source: New York Times | Italy Convicts 23 Americans for C.I.A. Renditions
Source: Al Jazeera | Italy convicts CIA rendition agents

10 September 2012

HRW publishes report on torture and rendition to Libya

On 6 September 2012, Human Rights Watch (HRW) published a report on torture and rendition to Libya during Gaddafi’s regime, entitled Delivered Into Enemy Hands: US-led Abuse and Rendition of Opponents to Gaddafi’s Libya.

The report is based on secret documents that were found after the fall of Tripoli, showing ‘a high level of cooperation between the Gaddafi government in Libya and US and the UK in the renditions discussed in the report.’

According to HRW, the documents and interviews ‘establish that, following the September 11, 2001 attacks, the US, with aid from the United Kingdom and countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, arrested and held without charge a number of LIFG [Libyan Islamic Fighting Group] members living outside Libya, and eventually rendered them to the Libyan government.’

Source: Human Rights Watch | US: Torture and Rendition to Gaddafi’s Libya

4 July 2012

Human Rights Watch publishes detailed report on torture in Syria

In its report “Torture Archipelago“, Human Rights Watch (HRW) published the locations of 27 torture facilities in Syria and the names of persons that allegedly tortured on behalf on the Syrian government. The report is based on interviews with more than 200 torture victims conducted by HRW since Arpil 2011.

HRW calls on the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court and to adopt targeted sanctions against Syrian officials implicated in torture.

Source: Human Rights Watch | Torture Archipelago: Arbitrary Arrests, Torture, and Enforced Disappearances in Syria’s Underground Prisons since March 2011

19 April 2012

US Supreme Court rules that victims of torture can only bring claims against individuals, not against organizations

On April 18 the US Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the family of an American citizen killed during a visit to the West Bank may not sue the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization under the 1991 Torture Victim Protection Act.

The case was brought by the family of Azzam Rahim, a naturalized American citizen. According to their lawsuit, Mr. Rahim was arrested by intelligence officers of the Palestinian Authority during a 1995 visit to the West Bank. The officers took him to a prison in Jericho, where he was tortured and killed.

Justice Sotomayor recognized that it is sometimes hard to identify those who torture and kill on behalf of organizations, much less to find them, sue them and collect damages. However, she wrote that the limits in the law were a product of deliberate choices by Congress.

Source: New York Times | Justices Limit Suits Under Law on Torture

18 April 2012

Jack Straw faces legal action over Libya rendition claims

Lawyers representing a Libyan military commander, Abdel Hakim Belhadj, initiated legal action against Jack Straw (former British foreign secretary, now a Labour MP) after reports suggested he had signed documents that allowed the military commander to be sent back to Libya in 2004.

Mr. Belhadj, then leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), opposing the Gaddafi regime, claims CIA agents took him and his wife from Thailand to Gaddafi-led Libya, via UK-controlled Diego Garcia. Mr Belhadj and his wife allege Mr Straw was complicit in the “torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, batteries and assaults” they say were perpetrated on them by Thai and US agents, as well as Libyan authorities.

UK ministers have denied any complicity in rendition or torture. A police investigation into the UK’s alleged role in illegal rendition is ongoing.

Source: The Guardian | Jack Straw faces legal action over Libya rendition claims
Source: BBC | Jack Straw faces legal action over 'rendition'

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