There is a sensational piece of news in the British press: Reprieve, a human rights organization famous for its fight against the death penalty (especially in the US), produced a report about secret “floating prisons” for terrorists. According to them, some of those arrested in connection with Al-Qaida, are held in US naval vessels on an illegal basis.
Human rights activists are shocked by the fact that the American government refuses to disclose the number of people in these clandestine jails. It is obvious that they are held in secret. In 2006, when clandestine CIA concentration camps in Europe became the center of a scandal, the president of the US, George W. Bush, publicly promised to refuse to use secret prisons. It seems like the promise has remained unfulfilled. According to the information from Reprieve, since 2006, at least 200 people have passed through the secret detention centers.
The report contains information from many sources, including American military personnel, Council of Europe experts and former prisoners. According to the human rights group, Americans have used 17 ships for their “floating prisons”. The names of two of the ships have been confirmed as marine ship Bataan and multitasking marine ship Pelelyu. During the military court proceedings, special jail cells were set up, in which alleged members of the CIA and FBI, interrogated the prisoners. In the words of the detained, they were beaten even more harshly then they were going to be in Guantanamo.
It is suspected that most of the “floating prisons” are based in the NATO base at Diego Garcia and they sail in the Indian Ocean. The worst incident involving these ships took place when it sailed to the coast of Somalia. A long range counter terrorist operation was taking place and it involved the kidnapping of suspects by the Somali, Kenyan, and Ethiopian counter intelligence agents, in the numbers reaching up to the hundreds. They were interrogated on one of the ships and were dropped off in different locations.
A representative of the US Navy, Jeffrey Gordon, denied the claim about these “floating jails.” But he did admit that “some of the people detained may have been held on ships for a few days for preliminary questions.”
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