Human Rights Watch

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Rendition to Gaddafi’s Libya

Thursday 01 March 2018

  • Latest News
  • Middle East/N. Africa
(Washington, DC, September 6, 2012) – The United States government during the Bush administration tortured opponents of Muammar Gaddafi, then transferred them to mistreatment in Libya, according to accounts by former detainees and recently uncovered CIA and UK Secret Service documents, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. One former detainee alleged he was waterboarded and another described a similar form of water torture, contradicting claims by Bush administration officials that only three men in US custody had been waterboarded. The interviews and documents establish that, following the September 11, 2001 attacks, the US, with aid from the United Kingdom (UK) and countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, arrested and held without charge a number of Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) members living outside Libya, and eventually rendered them to the Libyan government. The report also describes serious abuses that five of the former LIFG members said they experienced at two US-run detention facilities in Afghanistan, most likely operated by the CIA. They include new allegations of waterboarding and other water torture. The details are consistent with the few other first-hand accounts about the same US-run facilities. Other abuses reported by these former detainees include being chained to walls naked –sometimes while diapered – in pitch black, windowless cells, for weeks or months; restrained in painful stress positions for long periods, forced into cramped spaces; beaten and slammed into walls; kept indoors for nearly five months without the ability to bathe; and denied sleep by continuous, very loud Western music.


  • 2012MENA_Libya_Renditions_Positions_captions_693.pdf
  • 2012MENA_Libya_Renditions_Drawings_captions_165.pdf





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