DonateNow
Stay tuned for something new!
In the coming months, MISF Media will launch a redesigned website. In the meantime, continue to check here for new editions of the "Honduras News in Review" and "Remembering 25 Years Ago" features.
Human Rights
in the Global Community
Overview
Global Bodies & Treaties
Current Issues
Human Rights–War on Terror News Update
Human Rights in Honduras
Overview
History
Current Issues
Honduras News in Review
Remembering 25 Years Ago
Search the Site:
Updated 11/15/2006

Human Rights–War on Terror News Update—November 3, 2006

1. Former employee says Boeing subsidiary aided CIA rendition flights

2. Guantánamo detainee rights pursued and challenged

3. Leaked intelligence report says Germany knew about U.S. secret prisons

4. Italian spy chief may face prosecution for involvement in rendition case

5. Cheney suggests his approval of “waterboarding” technique

1. Former employee says Boeing subsidiary aided CIA rendition flights

An unnamed source for The New Yorker magazine claimed a subsidiary of the airline company Boeing has provided many of the logistical and navigational details for CIA rendition flights for terrorism suspects. The source, a former employee of Jeppesen International Trip Planning, said he attended a meeting with Jeppesen’s managing director Bob Overby at which Overby openly discussed the company’s servicing of CIA rendition flights. He recalled Overby saying, “We do all of the extraordinary rendition flights—you know, the torture flights.” Lawyers for Canadian rendition victim Maher Arar are inquiring into the possible involvement of Jeppesen in transporting Arar to Syria, where he was tortured and held captive for a year. [New Yorker, 10/23/06; Toronto Star, 10/25/06; Arar background info: HRWT News Update, 10/20/06]

2. Guantánamo detainee rights pursued and challenged
On Nov. 1 attorneys for detainees at the U.S. prison camp in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba filed a challenge to the Military Commissions Act of 2006 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The new law bars U.S. courts from considering habeas corpus claims for any detainee who “has been determined ... to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant or is awaiting such determination.” Lawyers say this provision unconstitutionally suspends the right of detainees to challenge their detentions. The lawyers represent six Algerians who have been held in U.S. custody since 2002 without being charged. In another case, the federal appeals court in Washington is considering a request filed in August by the Bush administration to limit Guantánamo detainees’ access to their attorneys. The government claims that some lawyers have given their clients “inflammatory” material like news about terrorist attacks, and it is asking the court to approve a limit on the number of attorney visits and regulate what topics attorneys may discuss with clients, both in person and via mail.  [Boston Globe, 10/25/06; JURIST, 11/2/06; Reuters, 11/1; background info: HRWT News Update,10/20/06]

3. Leaked intelligence report says Germany knew about U.S. secret prisons
On Oct. 23 the German magazine Stern quoted a leaked German intelligence report stating that German intelligence agents witnessed detainees being tortured at a secret prison in Bosnia two weeks after 9/11. This contradicts the German government’s claim that it did not know about the U.S. secret prison program until it was exposed in 2005. In June 2006 the Council of Europe condemned cooperation between European countries and the United States in the operation of secret U.S. prisons.  [JURIST, 10/25/06; The Independent, 10/25/06; Democracy Now!, 10/26/06]

4. Italian spy chief may face prosecution for involvement in rendition case
Italian prosecutors, who are seeking the arrest of 25 CIA agents for the February 2003 kidnapping and rendition of an Egyptian terrorism suspect, may also indict Italy’s spy chief. Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr was allegedly kidnapped in Milan by CIA agents and transferred to Egypt, where he claims he was tortured. Prosecutors allege that Nicolo Pollari, head the Italian intelligence agency SISMI, collaborated with the Americans in “promoting and organizing” the operation. It is thought that a trial of Pollari may expose the possible involvement of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and have implications for future involvement of European governments in U.S. antiterror operations. [Int Herald Tribune, 10/23/06; Guardian (UK), 10/24/06]

5. Cheney suggests his approval of “waterboarding” technique
In an Oct. 24 interview, Vice President Dick Cheney made a statement that Human Rights Watch is condemning as an endorsement of “waterboarding,” a coercive interrogation technique that simulates drowning to make a subject believe his death is imminent. On a North Dakota radio show, the host asked, "Would you agree a dunk in water is a no-brainer if it can save lives?" to which Cheney replied, "Well, it's a no-brainer for me." Human Rights Watch said the statement was an approval of torture. White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said Cheney was not referring to any specific interrogation technique.  [Human Rights Watch: Vice President Endorses Torture, 10/26/06; Reuters, 10/27/06; Guardian (UK), 10/27/06]