A new report released by rights group Human Rights Watch claims to have further evidence of US waterboarding, used by the CIA in Afghanistan nine years ago, according to The New York Times.
The information comes just days after the Justice Department closed its criminal investigation of two detainees who died while in CIA custody, without bringing charges. The claim directly contradicts current and former agency officials who have insisted that only three high-level terrorism suspects were waterboarded, The Times noted.
In the report, Mohammed al-Shoroeiya and Khaled al-Sharif detail the abuses they underwent in prisons in Afghanistan before being handed back to Libya, which included being shackled naked in their cells, with loud music blaring, being slammed against walls and punched. Al-Shoroeiya described being waterboarded, according to the Associated Press.
The report also said there is new evidence that the US and some of its allies allegedly forcibly transferred exiled opponents back to Libya, while Gaddafi was still in power, Reuters said.
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"The interviews and documents establish that, following the September 11, 2001 attacks, the US., with aid from the United Kingdom and countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia arrested and held without charge a number" of Libyan Islamic Fighting Group members, said the report, according to CNN.
"Not only did the US deliver Gaddafi his enemies on a silver platter, but it seems the CIA tortured many of them first," said Laura Pitter, a counterterrorism expert at HRW, and the author of the report. "The scope of Bush administration abuse appears far broader than previously acknowledged and underscores the importance of opening up a full-scale inquiry into what happened."
HRW said the report came from interviewing victims and witnesses and collecting evidence from the once-secret archives of Gaddafi's regime. Documents found in the archives show Gaddafi and Western intelligence agencies cooperating against Islamic militants, Reuters reported.
"It can't come as a surprise that the Central Intelligence Agency works with foreign governments to help protect our country from terrorism and other deadly threats. That is exactly what we are expected to do," said Jennifer Youngblood, a CIA spokeswoman, according to Reuters.
She continued, "The Department of Justice has exhaustively reviewed the treatment of more than 100 detainees in the post-9/11 period -- including allegations involving unauthorized interrogation techniques -- and it declined prosecution in every case," according to CNN.
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