Tuesday, March 10, 2009

CIA Destroyed Tapes of Interrogations

US Federal authorities confirmed on 2 March 2009 that 92 videotapes detailing the interrogation of detainees at secret prisons were destroyed in 2005 by the CIA.

Reporters Without Borders has asked that the Obama administration investigate this infringement upon "the American people's constitutional rights and punish those who are responsible".

The existence of the tapes was disclosed in 2007, just before the December 2007 announcement of the reform of the Freedom of Information Act Then CIA chief Michael Hayden said they had been destroyed to protect the identity of agency operatives.

The criminal investigation into the destruction of the tapes was launched under the Bush administration by Acting US Attorney John Durham and finished on 28 February 2009. The Obama administration has vowed that it will not resort to torture.

From June 2002 to May 2008, Sudanese journalist Sami al-Haj, with the Qatar-based TV station Al Jazeera, was held in Guantanamo. Reporters Without Borders advocated for his release. Detained without any charges being laid against him, he was submitted to more than 200 interrogations, some of them using "waterboarding" methods.

For further information on the al-Haj case, see: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/94025

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