CIA torture report a ‘good start,’ but child victims of rendition absent

December 10, 2014

Commenting on the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA torture, Clare Algar, Executive Director at international human rights NGO Reprieve said:

“This is a good start, but it is far from the whole picture.  The names of many victims of rendition and torture are absent – not least that of Khadija al Saadi, who was just 12 years old when she was ‘rendered’ along with her entire family to Gaddafi’s Libya, in a joint CIA – MI6 operation.  She, her younger brothers and sister, and so many others are still owed an apology.  Instead, those responsible for signing off on her abuse are feted on book tours and chat shows.  We are still a long way from acknowledging the horrors of the CIA’s torture programme, and achieving real accountability.”

Khadija al Saadi, a victim of a CIA-MI6 rendition to Libya in 2004 when she was just twelve years old, who is being represented by Reprieve, said:

“When I was 12 years old, I was bundled onto a dark plane, separated from my parents, and told to keep my two younger brothers and younger sister quiet and calm. They were 11, nine and six years old. All we could hear was our mother crying, saying that we were being taken back to Libya to be executed by Colonel Gaddafi. When we landed, I was told to go and say goodbye to my father, who was bound up and had a needle in his arm. I fainted, because I was sure we were going to be killed. We now have the actual faxes and flight plans that prove that the CIA arranged the whole thing. That is what the rendition programme involved, however hard the politicians try to black out the truth from their report.”

Commenting on the UK’s involvement in the rendition programme, in the light of reports that it “lobbied” the Senate Committee over the report, Clare Algar said:

“We already know the UK was up to its neck in the CIA’s rendition and torture programme.  MI6 fell over themselves to take credit for the rendition of Gaddafi opponents – along with their wives & young children – to Libyan prisons in 2004.  Yet the British Government continues to fight against real accountability in the UK courts, and have broken their promise to hold an independent, judge-led inquiry into the UK’s role in CIA torture.  And not content with frustrating accountability at home, they have admitted that they even ‘made representations’ to US Senate over the contents of the report relating to the UK authorities.  This is not the behaviour of a government committed to transparency and democratic accountability.”

ENDS