ICRC REPORT ON THE TREATMENT OF FOURTEEN "HIGH VALUE DETAINEES" IN CIA CUSTODY
1. MAIN ELEMENTS OF THE CIA DETENTION PROGRAM
Following the transfer of the fourteen from CIA custody to the custody of the Department of Defense in Guantanamo in September 2006, the ICRC met with each of these persons in private from 6 to 11 October, and from 4 to 14 December, 2006. The information provided in this report is based on the information gathered during those interviews, to the extent that each detainee agreed for it to be transmitted to the authorities.
The fourteen, who are identified individually below, described being subjected, in particular during the early stages of their detention, lasting from some days up to several months, to a harsh regime employing a combination of physical and psychological ill•treatment with the aim of obtaining compliance and extracting information. This regime began soon after arrest, and included transfers of detainees to multiple locations, maintenance of the detainees in continuous solitary confinement and incommunicado detention throughout the entire period of their undisclosed detention, and the infliction of further ill-treatment through the use of various methods either individually or in combination, in addition to the deprivation of other basic material requirements.
It is essential to a proper understanding of this report that all of the elements of treatment and material conditions of detention individually outlined below be considered as forming a whole, as each constitutes an integral part of the situation of the detainees in the CIA detention program. In addition to the information contained in the following section, it is also necessary to consider the prolonged duration of the detention, the conditions of detention and treatment in the later stages of detention. and the role of health personnel and, in particular, the lack of legal framework governing the undisclosed detention of the fourteen. When understood in their totality, the undisclosed detention regime to which these persons were subjected becomes all the more disturbing.
The ICRC wishes to underscore that the consistency of the detailed allegations provided separately by each of the fourteen adds particular weight to the information provided below.
The general term “ill-treatment” has been used throughout the following section, however, it should in no way be understood as minimising the severity of the conditions and treatment to which the detainees were subjected. Indeed, as outlined in Section 4 below, and as concluded by this report, the ICRC clearly considers that the allegations of the fourteen include descriptions of treatment and interrogation techniques—singly or in combination— that amounted to torture and/or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
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