Amnesty international legt neuen Bericht über geheime US-Gefängnisse vor / Case Sheet by amnesty international
Amnesty international legt neuen Bericht über geheime US-Gefängnisse vor*
Die Menschenrechtsorganisation amnesty international (ai) hat am Montag einen weiteren Bericht vorgelegt, der den USA das "Verschwindenlassen" von Gefangenen vorwirft. Berichte ehemaliger jemenitischer Gefangener bestätigten, dass der US-Geheimdienst CIA Verdächtige an Orten auf der ganzen Welt "verschwinden" lasse, so die Menschenrechtler. Der aktuelle ai-Bericht beschreibt die Erfahrungen des Jemeniten Muhammad al-Assad, der nach ai-Angaben seit 25 Jahren in Tansania lebte. Sicherheitskräfte des Landes hätten ihn im Dezember 2003 festgenommen und an US-Amerikaner übergeben, die vermutlich Mitarbeiter des US-Geheimdienstes CIA gewesen seien. Über 16 Monate habe al-Assads Familie nichts über sein Schicksal erfahren. "Der Fall von Muhammad al-Assad zeigt eindrücklich, dass die USA in ihrem so genannten Krieg gegen den Terror systematisch die Menschenrechte verletzen", sagte Ferdinand Muggenthaler, Amerika-Experte bei ai. Er forderte die USA auf, alle geheimen Haftorte offen legen und die Gefangenen entweder freilassen oder in einem fairen Verfahren anzuklagen. Erst letzte Woche hatte die "Washington Post" berichtet, die CIA betreibe geheime Gefängnisse unter anderem in osteuropäischen Staaten.
Nach dem ai-Bericht übergaben US-Beamte al-Assad sowie seine zwei Landsleute Salah Nasser Salim Ali und Muhammad Faraj Ahmed Bashmilah im Mai 2005 an die jemenitischen Behörden. Alle drei seien ohne Kenntnis voneinander in geheimer Haft gehalten worden. Nach Angaben der Menschenrechtsorganisation sitzen sie im Jemen weiterhin im Gefängnis, ohne dass dort etwas gegen sie vorliegt.
Über die Erfahrungen von Salah Nasser und Muhammad Faraj hatte amnesty Anfang August berichtet. Die nun veröffenlichten Schilderungen Muhammad al-Assads decken sich nach ai-Angaben mit den Berichten von Salah Nasser und Muhammad Faraj, die ai im August 2005 veröffentlicht hat. Danach berichteten alle drei beispielsweise von schwarz gekleideten und vermummten Wärtern, die nur mittels Gesten mit den Gefangenen kommunizierten. Muhammad al-Assad habe berichtet, dass er in verschiedenen US-Verhörzentren eingesperrt gewesen sei. Die ganze Zeit über habe er keinerlei Kontakt zur Außenwelt oder zu Mitgefangenen gehabt. Die letzten 13 Monate verbrachte er nach dem Bericht in einem modernen Komplex in Isolationshaft, in dem er 24 Stunden am Tag Kunstlicht und ununterbrochener Beschallung ausgesetzt war.
Nach ai-Angaben erklärten jemenitische Behördenvertreter gegenüber der Menschenrechtsorganisation, die Anweisungen zur fortdauernden Inhaftierung der drei Jemeniten kämen von den USA. Sollten die USA eine Freilassung verlangen, würde Jemen sie freilassen.
Seit längerem wird vermutet, dass der US-Geheimdienst hochrangige Al-Qaida-Gefangene an geheimen Orten festhält. Die "Washington Post" meldete vergangene Woche, die CIA betreibe Haftzentren unter anderem in osteuropäischen Staaten. amnesty international wirft den USA seit längerem vor, Gefangene "verschwinden" zu lassen. Die ai-Recherchen lassen nach Einschätzung der Menschenrechtler aber auch darauf schließen, dass dies nicht nur mutmaßliche Al-Qaida-Führer betrifft. Wie die Berichte der Jemeniten zeigten, sei das System illegaler Auslieferungen und geheimer Verhörzentren offenbar größer als bisher angenommen. "Alle Länder, die bisher an diesem völkerrechtswidrigen System mitgewirkt haben, fordern wir auf, den USA ihre Unterstützung zu entziehen", sagte ai-Experte Muggenthaler.
* Aus: Internetzeitung www.ngo-online.de, 07. Nov. 2005
"Disappearance", Secret detention and Arbitrary detention
Full name: Muhammad Abdullah Salah al-Assad
Family status: Married, five children
Amnesty International has received consistent reports that the US authorities have a network of secret detention centres around the globe, holding an unknown number of "war on terror" detainees in unknown conditions. In September 2005, Amnesty International spoke with Muhammad al-Assad, a man who had been caught up in this sinister system. He was effectively "disappeared" by the US for over 16 months.
Muhammad al-Assad is a Yemeni national who had lived in Tanzania for 25 years. He ran a small business importing diesel engine parts. In 1997 he leased office space that he owned to a Saudi Arabian charity named the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation. After the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US, this charity was placed on a blacklist by the US authorities as a possible link to terrorist funding.
Arrest and secret transfer to US custody
"I was frightened, very frightened, and kept asking what was happening to me" – Muhammad al-Assad
On the night of 26 December 2003 Tanzanian immigration officials came to Muhammad al-Assad’s house and arrested him. He was hooded and cuffed and taken to a flat where he was interrogated about his passport.
From here he was taken to a plane. He asked his guards what was happening to him. One replied "we don’t know, we are just following orders, there are high ranking ones who are responsible". His head was forced down when he entered the plane, leading him to believe it was a small aircraft.
Muhammad al-Assad estimates that he spent three hours on this plane. Confused and scared, he does not know where he was taken, but told AI that one of his guards spoke Arabic with a Somalian or Ethiopian accent, and that the type of bread he was given was typical of East Africa. Muhammad al-Assad was held here for approximately two weeks. He was interrogated three or four times. His interrogator was an English speaking woman and the translator a white western man who spoke good Arabic. He was asked about the Al-Haramain charity.
At the end of the two weeks he was hooded and cuffed again and placed on what he thought was a larger plane. He was flown for a long time, up to eight hours, stopped for an hour, and then flown for a further three hours. He felt that the weather was much cooler at his destination.
He was held in a cell which was larger than the previous one. The cell was old, completely windowless and empty apart from matting on the floor. He says that he was not provided with a blanket and was very cold. He was left for nine days alone in this cell, no-one talked to him.
His interrogator and translator at this facility were both western white men in their forties and the guards here were also English speaking. He was asked similar questions about the Al-Haramain charity and his connection to it. He was held in this cell for two weeks in total, and was then transferred again. He was put in a car and driven for twenty minutes. He was placed in a similar cell, stating only that it was smaller and older. He was held for three months in this cell. He was only irregularly taken to be interrogated. His interrogators, as well as the questions, were the same.
Secret detention facility
"God brought you here and only God can bring you out" – interrogator to Muhammad al-Assad in the US run secret detention facility
In April 2004, Muhammed al-Assad was put on yet another flight, this one lasting five to six hours. He was then transferred to a helicopter, he was thrown roughly onto the floor. He was taken to a new US run facility. The description of this facility that he gave to AI is remarkably similar to the testimony of Salah Nasser Salim ‘Ali and Muhammad Faraj Ahmed Bashmillah, the two other detainees held in US secret detention who AI spoke to in June 2005.
- The guards at the facility were covered in black clothing, including their faces. They would not speak, only communicating by hand gestures.
- There were no ornaments or distinctive markings and there were no floor coverings.
Additionally, all three men were subject to the same regime of interrogation and sensory deprivation
Return to Yemen and continued detention
Constant white noise was played through loudspeakers
- Artificial light was kept on 24 hours a day. The detainees were unable to discern what time of day it was, save by what meal they were being provided and prayer times
- There were no windows in their cells. The men did not see daylight throughout the entire time they were held in this facility
- They were allowed to speak to no-one but their interrogators
- They were taken for showers once a week
- During the last four months of his captivity, Muhammed al-Assad was allowed to play football on his own for half an hour three times a week.
"If I am guilty of anything, try me and I will spend the rest of my life in jail…only give me a trial" Muhammad al-Assad to Amnesty International, September 2005
On 5 May 2005 Muhammad al Assad was taken from the secret detention facility and returned to Yemen. He maintains that he was on the same flight as Muhammad Bashmillah and Salah ‘Ali.
The three men were held in the Political Security Prison in Sana’a for two weeks. Muhammad al-Assad was then transferred to al-Ghaydah, in the east of the country. The other two men were sent to Aden.
Four months after his transfer he remains detained. When Amnesty International asked Yemeni officials about the status of the three men they replied that they had been given explicit instructions on the continued detention of the men, and that they are "awaiting files" from the US so that they can try them. The official stated that the instructions came from the US embassy in Yemen.
When AI asked whether they would release the men if the US requested it, a high-ranking Political Security official answered, without hesitation, "yes".
"They came to take our father at night, like thieves…" Fatima al-Assad, 12 year old daughter of Muhammad al-Assad
Muhammad al-Assad’s family has had to bear to the intense emotional and psychological burden of not knowing where he was for over a year and a half, and have endured economic privation as a result of his "disappearance" and continued detention.
Tanzanian authorities told Muhammad al-Assad’s wife that he had been deported to Yemen. When Muhammad al-Assad’s 75 year old father found out, he travelled 1,300km from the remote al-Mahra governate to the capital Sana’a, to find his son. He was given written assurances that his son had never entered the country. His father carried on to Tanzania to file a habeas corpus petition. He was eventually told that his son had been transferred to US custody, but that no-one knew where he had been taken.
Muhammad’s wife, Zahra Salloum, has had to relocate to Yemen with her five children. She speaks no Arabic and told Amnesty International that in addition to the economic hardship, adjusting to life in Yemen has been difficult.
Zurück zur Seite "Menschenrechte"
Zurück zur Homepage