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Zimbabwe implicated in CIA torture programmes


ZIMBABWE is one of the 54 countries exposed in a United States Senate Intelligence Committee report as having assisted the George W Bush administration’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) programme that included torture of terrorism suspects.

Committee chairperson Senator Dianne Feinstein tabled the explosive report on Tuesday that revealed the details of US torture techniques.

“This document examines the CIA’s secret detention of at least 119 individuals and the use of coercive interrogation techniques – in some cases amounting to torture,” Feinstein said.“Under any common meaning of the term, CIA detainees were tortured.”

The detailed probe report concluded that 54 countries around the world assisted the CIA’s programme — 25 of them in Europe. There are also 13 African countries that assisted the Bush administration on the programme.

The Open Society Foundation and United Nations listed the following African countries as complicity Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia and Kenya.

The other countries are Libya, Malawi, Mauritania, Somalia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Morocco was the only country on the list that hosted a CIA prison.

Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and his deputy Christopher Mutsvangwa were not immediately available for comment yesterday as they were attending a Zanu PF central committee meeting.

The 480-page summary of a 6 000-page investigation from the committee includes graphic details about sexual threats, waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques meted out to captured militants since the September 11 2001 terror attacks.

The report compiled over several years is the first independent assessment of the CIA’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation programme, which George Bush authorised after September 11 2001 terrorist attacks in the US.

Bush ended many aspects of the program before leaving office, and President Barack Obama swiftly banned so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques”, which critics say are torture, after his 2009 inauguration.

It took three separate bipartisan votes to create, approve and finally declassify the report – in 2009, 2012 and 2014 respectively.

Republicans have fiercely opposed the publication of the report arguing it was to the detriment of US national security.

Critiques from Republican committee members and CIA officials are included in the report.
—Agencies/Staff Reporters

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