CIA closes secret prisons for terrorism suspects (Lead)April 10th, 2009 - 7:08 am ICT by IANS
Washington, April 10 (DPA) The US will no longer hold terrorism suspects in secret prisons and plans to shut down any facilities still in operation, CIA Director Leon Panetta has said, marking the latest reversal of terrorism policy by the new administration.
President Barack Obama has already ordered the eventual closure of the controversial prison camp in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, and repealed some of the harsh interrogation tactics used under president George W. Bush.
The Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) secret prisons in foreign countries came under sharp condemnation from human-rights groups for treatment of Al Qaeda terrorist suspects. A report leaked last month from the International Committee of the Red Cross said the CIA’s interrogations amounted to torture.
“CIA no longer operates detention facilities or black sites and has proposed a plan to decommission the remaining sites,” Panetta said Thursday in a letter to staff that was released on the CIA’s website.
Panetta said the CIA still reserved the right to hold suspects for a brief period before handing them over to military authorities.
Bush in 2006 first acknowledged the existence of the secret prisons, which were used to hold high-profile suspects including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the attacks on Sep 11, 2001.
The prisons’ existence caused problems for some governments in Europe and Asia who allegedly were aware of the facilities. A European Union report in 2007 singled out Poland and Romania for allowing CIA prisons on their soil from 2002-05, but both denied any knowledge.
Panetta said that the CIA had already stopped all of the so-called “enhanced interrogation” practices in place during the Bush administration.
“CIA will continue to honour the law as we defend the United States, as we have done since the beginning of this programme,” Panetta said.
In the first week of his presidency in January, Obama issued executive orders to close Guantanamo within a year and to ensure that the US “does not torture”.
- CIA no longer uses secret prisons, says spy chief - Apr 10, 2009
- CIA to close secret prisons used to torture al Qaeda operatives - Apr 10, 2009
- CIA tapes show 9/11 suspects in secret prisons - Aug 18, 2010
- US appoints prosecutor to investigate detainee abuses - Aug 25, 2009
- No 9/11 accused has gone to the gallows - Sep 10, 2011
- US detention centres violated human rights: UN report - Jan 28, 2010
- US will not use extraordinary renditions: new CIA chief - Feb 06, 2009
- Lithuania harboured secret CIA prison to interrogate Qaeda terrorists: Report - Nov 20, 2009
- UN welcomes US probe into alleged torture of terror suspects - Aug 26, 2009
- Pak-born Qaeda suspect revealed name of Osama's key courier - May 05, 2011
- Obama reverses order halting military trails of Guantanamo detainees - Mar 08, 2011
- Lithuania hosted secret CIA prison: Report - Aug 21, 2009
- Osama and Zawahiri to be kept at Guantanamo if captured: CIA - Feb 17, 2011
- 'Waterboarding' of terror suspects warded off attacks on Britain, claims Bush - Nov 09, 2010
- Cancer of terrorism is in Pakistan, Obama tells Zardari through his NSA - Sep 29, 2010
Tags: barack obama, bush administration, central intelligence agency, cia director, detention facilities, eventual closure, george w bush, guantanamo bay, human rights groups, international committee of the red cross, interrogation practices, interrogation tactics, interrogations, khalid sheikh mohammed, leon panetta, military authorities, new administration, president george w bush, prison camp, sep 11 2001