Researched by Lizbeth Malmstead and Ian Bridges
The United States is operating secret “floating prisons” to house those arrested in its war on terror. According to human rights lawyers, the US has also attempted to conceal the number and whereabouts of detainees. Reprieve, a human right’s organization, claims there have been more than 200 new cases of rendition since 2006 and that the US may have used as many as 17 ships as “floating prisons” since 2001. Detainees are interrogated aboard the vessels and then rendered to other, often undisclosed, locations, it is claimed. The human rights organization Reprieve also discloses concerns over the activities of the USS Ashland and the time it spent off Somalia in early 2007 in an effort to capture al-Qaida terrorists. At this time many people were abducted by Somali, Kenyan and Ethiopian forces in a systematic operation involving regular interrogations by individuals believed to be members of the FBI and CIA. By its own admission, the US government is currently detaining at least 26,000 people without trial in secret prisons, and information suggests up to 80,000 have been ‘through the system’ since 2001. The US government is being urged to list the names and whereabouts of all those detained.
“US Accused of Holding Terror Suspects on Prison Ships” Duncan Campbell and Richard Norton-Taylor, Guardian/UK, June 2, 2008