April 04, 2007
|Secret Ethiopian Prisons: "Decentralized, Outsourced Guantánamo"||9/11, "War On Terror"|
CIA and FBI agents hunting for al-Qaeda militants in the Horn of Africa have been interrogating terrorism suspects from 19 countries held at secret prisons in Ethiopia, which is notorious for torture and abuse, according to an investigation by the Associated Press.
Human rights groups, lawyers and several Western diplomats assert hundreds of prisoners, who include women and children, have been transferred secretly and illegally in recent months from Kenya and Somalia to Ethiopia, where they are kept without charge or access to lawyers and families.
The detainees include at least one United States citizen and some are from Canada, Sweden and France, according to a list compiled by a Kenyan Muslim rights group and flight manifests obtained by AP. [...]
[S]ome US allies have expressed consternation at the transfers to the prisons. One Western diplomat in Nairobi, who agreed to speak to AP only if not quoted to avoid angering US officials, said he sees the US as playing a guiding role in the operation.
John Sifton, a Human Rights Watch expert on counterterrorism, went further. He said in an email that the United States has acted as "ringleader" in what he labelled a "decentralised, outsourced Guantánamo." [Emphasis added]
As Bill Hicks used to ask, "How does it feel to find out we are the Evil Empire?"