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A photo taken on Nov 19, 2009 shows a training centre of the Lithuanian State Security Department, the country's domestic intelligence agency, in Antavilis near Vilnius. The US channel ABC News reported on Nov 18, 2009 that a secret CIA facility allegedly used from 2004 to 2005 to interrogate Al Qaeda suspects was set up in Antaviliai, less than 20 kilometres from Vilnius, in the complex, a former equestrian base. — Photo by AFP/File

NEW YORK: The CIA was aided and abetted by some 54 countries in its secret interrogation program years after Sept 11 attacks, says a new human rights report which documents international involvement in CIA efforts.

The report, cited by the New York Times exclusively is to be made public later by the Open Society Justice Initiative, a rights advocacy group, is the most detailed external account of other countries’ assistance to the United States, including things like permitting the CIA to run secret interrogation prisons on their soil and allowing the agency to use their airports for refuelling while moving prisoners around the world.

The report identifies 136 people who had been held or transferred by the CIA, the largest list compiled to date, and describes what is known about when and where they were held.

It adds new detail to what is known about the handling of both dedicated Al Qaeda operatives and innocent people caught up by accident in the global machinery of counter-terrorism.

Some of the harsh interrogation methods the CIA used on prisoners under President George W. Bush have been widely denounced as torture, including by President Obama, who banned such techniques.

In addition, some prisoners subjected to extraordinary rendition — transferred from one country to another without any legal process — were sent to countries where torture is standard practice.

Such operations remain the subject of fierce debate, with former Bush administration officials asserting that they were necessary to keep the country safe and critics saying the brutal interrogation techniques were illegal and ineffective.

The debate has been renewed most recently with the release of the movie “Zero Dark Thirty,” which portrays the use of torture in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, though intelligence officials deny that was the case.

When he took office in 2009, Mr Obama rejected calls for a national commission to investigate such practices, saying he wanted to look forward and not back.

The Senate Intelligence Committee recently completed a 6,000-page study of the CIA detention and interrogation program, but it remains classified, and it is uncertain whether and when it might be even partially released.

Amrit Singh, the author of the Open Society report, “Globalising Torture,” said she had found evidence that 25 countries in Europe, 14 in Asia and 13 in Africa lent some sort of assistance to the CIA, in addition to Canada and Australia.

They include Thailand, Romania, Poland and Lithuania, where prisoners were held, but also Denmark, which facilitated CIA air operations, and Gambia, which arrested and turned over a prisoner to the agency.

“The moral cost of these programs was borne not just by the US but by the 54 other countries it recruited to help,” Ms Singh said.

For some former intelligence officials, such critiques of the aggressive operations against Al Qaeda smack of second-guessing.

Michael V. Hayden, the former CIA director, said in a panel discussion last week at the American Enterprise Institute that few voices had called for restraint in the panicky aftermath of 9/11.

“We are often put in a situation where we are bitterly accused of not doing enough to defend America when people feel endangered,” Mr Hayden said.

“And then as soon as we’ve made people feel safe again, we’re accused of doing too much.”

But Ms Singh said the United States had flagrantly violated domestic and international laws and that its efforts to avoid accountability were “beginning to break down.”

In December, the European Court of Human Rights found the CIA responsible for the torture of Khalied el-Masri, a German citizen abducted by the agency and taken to Afghanistan in a case of mistaken identification.

And on Friday, an Italian appeals court convicted a CIA station chief and two other Americans of the kidnapping of a radical cleric taken from the streets of Milan in 2003 and sent to Egypt.

Twenty-three Americans had previously been convicted in the case.

Comments (21) Closed

ram Feb 06, 2013 08:11pm
So? She has her individual status. Manmohan has been best PM..the India ever had Fact: when one reaches peak do all to stay....but its weight pushes soil under its feet downward...
Ahsan Feb 06, 2013 12:02pm
Well mister afser khan you stating the background of Amrit singh show signs that you reject this report outright. Torture of any human is morally and constituionally down right wrong. How would you feel if you or your family member was abducted and tortured in the interest of the greater good? And to top it off reject your right to a trial!
matta Feb 06, 2013 07:40pm
article is talking about the work of amrit singh her father had no role in it so why should that be reported???
Asad Feb 06, 2013 12:22pm
This report is based on facts Mr.Khan,wake up and smell the coffee.CIA activities have been pretty controversial both domestically and especially in Europe.Lately they have been under some criticism regarding the extrajudicial killings of US citizens abroad without due process of the law.
gangadin Feb 06, 2013 12:13pm
People may be convicted but did they serve any time? And US is always questioning human rights in China. Just one example of hypocrisy.
Nina Feb 06, 2013 07:21pm
Ms Singh is Indian PM Manmohan Singh's youngest daughter. Well done!
useless trivia Feb 06, 2013 06:41pm
Useless Trivia - Amrit Singh is the daughter of Manmohan Singh our PM(India). She is a ACLU member and a lefty to the core.
ozair Feb 06, 2013 01:19pm
and the point is...............?
citizen Feb 06, 2013 02:11pm
I don't get your point. Hate against whom?
khanm Feb 06, 2013 10:58am
Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak and Power always thinks... that it is doing God's service when it is violating all his laws. so is the world we live in
Abdul Feb 06, 2013 02:02pm
If she is a daughter of Manmohan Singh, only that qualification makes the report biased? Do the facts count in your world at all or you are busy weaving conspiracy theories? What kind of hate the article promotes?
Afser Khan Feb 06, 2013 10:28am
Masood Haider, why did you hide the fact that the author Amrit Singh is the daughter of India's Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh. This report is not journalistically accurate. Hate and journalism don't go together.
Anup Feb 06, 2013 07:50am
By the way Amrit Singh is the daughter of Manmohan Singh...
Asad Feb 07, 2013 02:30am
Amrit Singh is non issue..
Saad Feb 07, 2013 03:01am
That has nothing to do with this article. This has nothing to do with hate and journalism. She wrote a report based on human rights activities dealing with torture from an organisation, which on the whole is very true and I agree with her. What you said indicates hatred, and its people like you that spread hatred and animosity and no steps toward peace amongst countries, and its people like you which furiates me. Wake up and stop being ignorant and illiterate.
Talking Point Feb 07, 2013 07:16pm
It makes the report all the more credible , not that it lacked credibility in its current form and content .
Mohit (India) Feb 07, 2013 05:05am
What the author of the article missed out here and I feel that it may be brought to knowledge of people that Amrit Singh is daughter of Indian Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh
farid Feb 07, 2013 05:45am
China is a lot decent and respectful society who never invade in to other nation's affairs.
Anup Feb 07, 2013 06:41pm
So nothing buddy..I just said it as a matter of fact,,why do you have to get so emotional about it?
vijay Feb 07, 2013 07:27am
Does this change the facts?
aviratam Feb 07, 2013 07:56am
So what? You have any comments on her report?