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Confronting Torture

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Snatching people off the streets. Hanging people from the ceiling. A man freezing to death alone on a concrete floor. These are the grim realities Amrit Singh of the Open Society Justice Initiative describes in her report released today. 

The report is the first of its kind, compiling information that has never been catalogued. It tells the story of how the United States used its position to cajole, persuade, and strong-arm 54 other countries to take part in the CIA’s secret campaign.

The range of countries on the list is shocking. From Australia to Iran, Canada to Sweden, Hong Kong to Indonesia. It is a very long list.

This report from the Open Society Justice Initiative takes a step toward puncturing the layers of secrecy. It weaves together the intricate details of the abuse of 136 victims, giving them names.

This reveals unfinished history. Over the years, details of what took place under the CIA’s secret detention and extraordinary rendition programs have emerged—ghost flights, black sites, and stories of appalling abuse—but so many details remained obscured from public view. 

Even though I—you—have heard many stories about what was done in the name of the war against terror, I found myself shocked again about what was done under the CIA’s secret programs after 9/11.

These are not the practices of an open society. Only with a full reckoning can the United States hope to close the door on this shameful chapter in its history.

I hope that you can watch this short video, read the report to see if your country is on the list, and tell us how you think we can stop these abuses.    

So much still remains hidden.

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