Accountability for Torture: Infographic
After 9/11, the United States began a program of kidnapping, torture, and secret imprisonment of terrorism suspects with the help of more than 50 countries around the world. The countries listed here are notable either for their role in the program or for their subsequent accountability efforts.
After 9/11, the United States began a program of kidnapping, torture, and secret imprisonment of terrorism suspects with the help of more than 50 countries around the world. These governments allowed the CIA to abduct people from their soil, use their airports and airspace to extrajudicially transfer prisoners under brutal conditions ("extraordinary rendition"), or establish secret prisons where prisoners were tortured. In some cases, the governments participated directly, including in torture. The countries listed here are notable either for their role in the program or for their subsequent accountability efforts.
Zero Torture Accountability
EGYPT was the site of a CIA proxy prison. The prison was operated by local government; prisoners were often tortured by local officials but remained under U.S. control. Egypt admitted imprisoning and interrogating between 60 and 70 people rendered by the CIA; there was no government investigation.
JORDAN was the site of a CIA proxy prison. There was no government investigation or admission.
MOROCCO was the site of a CIA proxy prison. There was no government investigation or admission.
SYRIA was the site of a CIA proxy prison. There was no government investigation or admission.
THAILAND was the site of a secret CIA prison. There was no government investigation or admission.
Insignificant Torture Accountability
DJIBOUTI was the site of a CIA proxy prison; it was complicit in extraordinary renditions of foreign nationals to torture. One stunted government inquiry into single case was closed; there was no government investigation of other cases.
IRELAND's territory used as transit point for extraordinary rendition flights. Ireland's Human Rights Commission examined the matter; there was no further government investigation.
LITHUANIA was the site of two secret CIA prisons. Parliamentary inquiry found two secret prisons existed in Lithuania and recommended criminal investigation. A criminal investigation was closed after security services refused to provide key evidence; no charges were brought; prosecutor refused to release findings on state secrets grounds or reopen investigation after additional evidence was presented by NGOs.
MACEDONIA was complicit in the kidnapping, extraordinary rendition and torture of a man held in secret CIA prison. It refused to open a criminal investigation. It denied cooperating and lied to European Court of Human Rights about complicity. It was found responsible by the European Court for Human Rights for torture of a terrorism suspect and was ordered to pay compensation.
PORTUGAL's territory was used as a transit point for extraordinary rendition flights. A stunted criminal investigation closed with finding of no wrongdoing. Parliament refused to open a full investigation.
ROMANIA was the site of a secret CIA prison. A Senate inquiry closed was closed and findings classified.
Minimal Torture Accountability
FINLAND's territory was used as transit point for extraordinary rendition flights. It's foreign minister refused a full investigation; a parliamentary ombudsman investigation is ongoing.
GERMANY was complicit in extraordinary renditions to torture of a citizen and resident; its territory was used as transit point for extraordinary rendition flights. Its executive branch thwarted criminal prosecutions of CIA agents and a three-year parliamentary investigation. The Constitutional Court ruled that the executive branch violated the constitution by failing to cooperate with the parliamentary inquiry, yet Parliament failed to reopen the inquiry.
POLAND was the site of a secret CIA prison. A criminal investigation is ongoing; its former chief of intelligence was reportedly charged with unlawful imprisonment and mistreatment, though charges may be withdrawn; a prosecutor officially recognized two victims.
SPAIN's territory was used as a transit point for extraordinary rendition flights. Government ministers refused to seek extradition of CIA personnel; the executive has opposed judicial investigations—one stayed, one ongoing—into torture and abuse.
UNITED STATES abused and tortured men onboard ships and in secret prisons, proxy prisons, Guantanamo Bay, and a domestic naval prison; extraordinarily rendered dozens of men to countries where they were tortured. It closed limited criminal investigation; no charges were brought. It limited legislative investigations; a main legislative report remains entirely classified. At the executive's urging, courts dismissed all civil lawsuits on procedural national security grounds. It refused to cooperate with any foreign inquiry and pressured other governments to close investigations.
ITALY was complicit in the kidnapping of a resident subsequently extraordinary rendered to torture in Egypt. It convicted CIA agents, a U.S. military official and Italian officials of kidnapping (U.S. personnel tried were in absentia); the Italian president subsequently pardoned the U.S. military official; the court ordered compensation paid to victim and his wife.
UNITED KINGDOM was complicit in extraordinary renditions of British citizens, residents, and foreign nationals to torture; its territory was used as a transit point for extraordinary rendition flights. Three criminal investigations: two are ongoing, one is closed; no charges brought to date. It halted a government inquiry due to pending criminal investigations; inquiry findings remain classified. It settled most civil lawsuits with no admission of wrongdoing and paid compensation to several victims.
CANADA was complicit in rendition of citizen to torture in Syria. A judicial investigation was completed; the government admitted wrongdoing and paid compensation to the victim.
SWEDEN was complicit in the rendition of two residents to torture in Egypt. A parliamentary ombudsman investigation was completed; it cooperated with a United Nations inquiry; paid compensation to victims; and granted residency to the victim and to his family members.