REPORT: 39 SECRETLY IMPRISONED BY U.S.
A coalition of human rights groups has drawn up a list of 39 terror suspects it believes are being secretly imprisoned by U.S. authorities and published their names in a report released Thursday.
Information about the so-called “ghost detainees” was gleaned from interviews with former prisoners and officials in the U.S., Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Yemen, according to Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and four other groups.
“What we’re asking is where are these 39 people now, and what’s happened to them since they ‘disappeared’?” Joanne Mariner of Human Rights Watch said in a statement.
CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said “there’s a lot of myth outside government when it comes to the CIA and the fight against terror.”
“The plain truth is that we act in strict accord with American law, and that our counterterror initiatives — which are subject to careful review and oversight — have been very effective in disrupting plots and saving lives,” Gimigliano said. “The United States does not conduct or condone torture.”
Information on the purported missing detainees was, in some cases, incomplete, the report acknowledged. Some detainees had been added to the list because Marwan Jabour, an Islamic militant who claims to have spent two years in CIA custody, remembered being shown photos of them during interrogations, it said.
Others were identified only by their first or last names, like “al-Rubaia,” who was added to the list after a fellow inmate reported seeing the name scribbled onto the wall of his cell.
But information for at least 21 of the detainees had been confirmed by two or more independent sources, said Anne Fitzgerald, a senior adviser for Amnesty International.
President Bush acknowledged the existence of secret detention centers in September 2006, but said that the prisons were then empty.