On June 7, 2007 CCR and five other leading human rights organizations published the names and details of 39 people who are believed to have been held in secret U.S. custody and whose current whereabouts remain unknown. The briefing paper, the comprehensive accounting to date, also names relatives of suspects who were themselves detained in secret prisons, including children as young as seven.
The 21-page briefing paper, Off the Record: U.S. Responsibility for Enforced Disappearances in the "War on Terror," includes detailed information about four people named as "disappeared" prisoners for the first time. The full list of people includes nationals from countries including Egypt, Kenya, Libya, Morocco, Pakistan, and Spain. They are believed to have been arrested in countries including Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, and Sudan, and transferred to secret U.S. detention centers.
The list-drafted by Amnesty International, Cageprisoners, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at New York University School of Law, Human Rights Watch, and Reprieve-draws together information from government and media sources, as well as from interviews with former prisoners and other witnesses.
Off the Record highlights aspects of the CIA detention program that the U.S. government has actively tried to conceal, such as the locations where prisoners may have been held, the mistreatment they endured, and the countries to which they may have been transferred.
It reveals how suspects' relatives, including wives and children as young as seven, have been held in secret detention. In September 2002, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's two young sons, aged seven and nine, were arrested. According to eyewitnesses, the two were held in an adult detention center for at least four months while U.S. agents questioned the children about their father's whereabouts.
Similarly, when Tanzanian national Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani was seized in Gujarat, Pakistan, in July 2004, his Uzbek wife was detained with him.
The human rights groups are calling on the U.S. government to put a permanent end to the CIA's secret detention and interrogation program, and to disclose the identities, fate, and whereabouts of all detainees currently or previously held at secret facilities operated or overseen by the U.S. government as part of the "War on Terror."
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.