LFL Press Statement
10 December 2014
The government must disclose collaboration with the CIA or extraordinary rendition process
Lawyers for Liberty is extremely concerned with Malaysia’s probable involvement in the brutal CIA program to detain and interrogate terrorism suspects in the years after the September 11 attacks, including extraordinary rendition which was heavily indicted by the US Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.
This follows the report by Open Society Justice Initiative, Globalizing Torture: CIA Secret Detention and Extraordinary Rendition in 2012 which detailed the 2004 rendition of Libyan nationals Abu Abdullah al-Sadiq (Abdul Hakim Belhadj) and his wife, Fatima Bouchar who was pregnant at the time.
They were arrested by Malaysian authorities in Kuala Lumpur and detained for 13 days under bad conditions and the wife was further denied medical attention. Both were later “transferred” to Thailand where they were tortured and finally sent to Libya where Abu was detained until 2010 while his wife was released shortly after she had given birth.
Extraordinary rendition is the transfer without legal process of a detainee, often “suspected terrorists” to the custody of a foreign government where they are detained in “black sites” for the purposes of CIA detention and interrogation where they will be subjected to “enhanced interrogation techniques,” – a euphemism for torture and other cruel, degrading and inhumane treatment.
If this is true, it is a cause for great concern as the Malaysian authorities had arbitrarily and secretly detained foreign nationals who seemingly have not committed any criminal offence in the country. The arrest and detention seemed to have been done without any legal basis, due process and had operated outside the realm of the Malaysian Constitution and other legal safeguards including access to legal counsel or hearing by a Magistrate during remand. Instead, the arrest was seemingly done at the direction of the CIA or other foreign authorities.
We call on the Malaysian government to disclose any extraordinary rendition process that had taken place and to disclose of any collaboration with the CIA or other foreign authorities where individuals have been detained, interrogated, tortured and transferred around the world at the behest of foreign governments.
We further call on the Malaysian government to stop participating in any other extraordinary renditions and to ensure that the rule of law is strictly observed – that any arrest, detention or deportation (of foreigners) is done transparently and properly in accordance to Malaysian and international law and processes.
Lawyers for Liberty
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