Zimbabwe has been implicated as one of the 54 countries that were involved in assisting the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States in torturing individuals who were suspected of being involved with Al Qaeda following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in Washington and New York.
It is alleged to have detained Fahad al Bahli, Ibrahim Habaci, Khalifa Abdi Hassan, Mahmud Sardar Issa, and Arif Ulusam after they were arrested in June 2003 in Malawi, in a joint operation involving the CIA and Malawi’s National Intelligence Bureau.
The five are said to have been flown to Harare, where they were held for almost a month, and ultimately flown to Sudan where they were released, according to a report by the Open Society Foundation released yesterday.
The report says there were no known judicial cases or investigations in Zimbabwe relating to its participation in CIA secret detention and extraordinary rendition operations.
But it adds that while primary responsibility for the human rights violations associated with the CIA’s secret detention and extraordinary rendition operations no doubt lies with the United States, countries that participated or assisted in these operations also bear responsibility for these violations.
“International human rights law not only bars states from directly committing the violations associated with the extraordinary rendition and secret detention programmes, but also obligates them not to transfer individuals to states where they are at real risk of torture or to otherwise cooperate with or facilitate the commission of those violations,” the report says.
The report lists 136 individuals reportedly subjected to the CIA operations in 54 countries.
The 54 governments identified in the report are: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.