HRW: Bush administration engaged in torture, rendition of Qaddafi opponents

During the administration of former US president George W. Bush, the US government tortured opponents of former Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi and transferred them to Libya, Human Rights Watch (HRW) announced in a report (PDF) released Sept. 5. The report, entitled “Delivered Into Enemy Hands: US-Led Abuse and Rendition of Opponents to Gaddafi’s Libya,” details the ill-treatment and torture, including instances of waterboarding, of detainees in US custody. The information contained in the report comes from detainees who have since been liberated, as well as documents and files uncovered after the fall of the Qaddafi regime.

HRW documented instances of rendition to countries with known torture practices, with inadequate procedural standards, and where detainees were held incommunicado. The report also examines the roles that other national governments played in the abuse of detainees and unlawful renditions. HRW made recommendations to the US government and the various national governments scrutinized in the report to investigate allegations of torture and abuse, acknowledge past injustices and take steps to end the use of torture.

From Jurist, Sept. 6. Used with permission.

  1. From renditioned terror suspect to NATO-backed freedom fighter
    Well, isn’t this another one to file under “delicious irony.” We applaud HRW for bringing this to the world’s attention again, but it has actually been reported before—and the key figure seems to be Abdel Hakim Belhadj, and Islamist militant who was renditioned by the CIA to Libya back in 2004 when Qaddafi was still “our son of a bitch.” Of course, he became a key figure in the NATO-backed insurgency that toppled Qaddafi last year. The involvement of Libya in the rendition program was actually reported when the scandal first broke seven years ago. See here and here.