Open Society: U.S. should take charge of CIA abuse revelations

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As secrets about CIA detention and extraordinary rendition continue to come to light, through international court cases and reports from advocacy groups, the U.S. government should open up about CIA practices, the Open Society Justice Initiative says.

If the United States and its partners don't reveal the details on their own, over time, "chances are that the truth will emerge by other means to embarrass them," the group says in a Feb. 5 report (.pdf).

To start, the report says, the government should identify all the individuals subjected to secret detention and rendition operations, and offer details on their treatment and current whereabouts. It should also document the diplomatic assurances of humane treatment it received when moving detainees to foreign countries, the report says.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's report on secret CIA practices should also be declassified as much as possible, it says.

The report also calls for an independent, nonpartisan commission and board. The commission would investigate and publicly disclose the roles of any officials who enabled or participated in CIA human rights abuses. The board would review claims from the victims of those abuses and provide them compensation.

The report makes similar recommendations to foreign governments that cooperated with the CIA's secret detention and rendition programs: Disclose and investigate abuses.

It calls on foreign governments to compensate victims of human rights abuses when those countries were involved, as well. Only Canada, Sweden, Australia and the United Kingdom have compensated anyone for extraordinary rendition, the report says. Canada is the only one that has formally apologized to someone subjected to the practice.

At least 136 people have been subjected to secret CIA detention and extraordinary rendition, the report says, and more than 50 countries may have participated.

For more:
- download the report, "Globalizing Torture: CIA Secret Detention and Extraordinary Rendition" (.pdf)

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