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Amnesty International claims CIA used private airlines to hide CIA torture flights

Raw Story | April 4 2006

Amnesty International is set to release a report claiming that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) used private aircraft operators and front companies to hide CIA rendition flights and "black site" detention facilities in foreign countries.

The report also details dozens of destinations around the world where planes associated with rendition flights landed and took off. In addition, the report lists the private airlines with permission to land at U.S. military bases worldwide.

Titled Below the Radar: Secret flights to Torture and 'Disappearance', Amnesty will reveal how the CIA exploited aviation practices to hide behind the identity of private plane operators and circumvent authorities. Countries that allow CIA planes to cross their airspace and use their airports often cite the Convention on International Civil Aviation, also known as the Chicago Convention. These states claim that they do not have the authority to question the reasons for the flight because there is a clause in the Convention that allows private, non-commercial flights to fly over a country, or make technical stops there, without prior authorization or notification.

According to the Chicago Convention, states do not have the authority to question the reasons for the private, non-commercial flights flying over a country, or making technical stops there.

Amnesty claims that the United States may have transferred hundreds of individuals for the purposes of interrogation by nations with "dubious human rights records." They are further set to claim that "rendition is part of an elaborate clandestine detention regime that includes the use of 'black sites' and 'disappearances,' as well as torture and inhuman treatment."

They are prepared to accompany the report with a call for participating companies to cease cooperation in the program.

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