Tuesday, December 18, 2007

BROADCAST EXCLUSIVE: Yemeni Man Imprisoned at CIA “Black Sites” Tells His Story of Kidnapping and Torture

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"AMY GOODMAN: Today, a Democracy Now! broadcast exclusive. A victim of the CIA rendition program—kidnapped, held in secret jails and tortured—speaks out in his own words. His name is Mohamed Farag Ahmad Bashmilah, one of hundreds of men to have passed through the CIA’s so-called “black sites.” Today, he tells his story.

A citizen of Yemen, Mohamed came to Jordan with his wife in the fall of 2003 to arrange surgery for his ailing mother. He was living in Indonesia at the time. Jordanian authorities took him into custody shortly after seizing his passport. There, he says he was tortured, threatened and forced to sign a false confession. He was turned over to the CIA within days and flown to a secret prison he later found out was in Kabul, Afghanistan.

In CIA custody, Mohamed says he was held in a freezing-cold cell, interrogated, shackled, force-fed, subjected to sleep deprivation and loud music for days. He attempted suicide at least three times. He talks about his interrogators and the American psychiatrists or psychologists who also played a role.

Mohamed has brought a lawsuit against a Boeing subsidiary accused of abetting his kidnapping. The American Civil Liberties Union is suing Jeppesen Dataplan on behalf of Mohamed and four other victims of CIA kidnapping and torture. The lawsuit accuses Jeppesen of providing direct logistical support for the CIA flights.

Yesterday, I spoke to Mohamed Bashmilah on the phone from his home in Yemen, in his first broadcast interview. We’re going to play that interview in a moment, but first I want to turn to Meg Satterthwaite. She is director of the International Human Rights Clinic at New York University Law School. She’s Mohamed Bashmilah’s attorney, joining us from Washington, D.C......."

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