TRIALS BY FIRE - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

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TRIALS BY FIRE - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

determined that he was innocent. 106 In the past several years, al-Masri hasfiled several diplomatically embarrassing, high-profile lawsuits against the USand Germany over his treatment. 107The US has rendered people to countries known to brutalize detainees. The UShas been accused of rendering suspects to countries with dubious humanrights records, including Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Syria and Libya. 108 Thesecountries are known to use techniques to elicit information during interrogationoutlawed in the US, up to and including torture.The Convention Against Torture, to which the US is a signatory, guaranteesthat, “No State party shall expel, return (‘refouler’) or extradite a person toanother State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he wouldbe in danger of being subjected to torture.” 109 However, Michael Scheuer, formerhead of CIA’s bin Ladin Group, dismisses these efforts as a “legal nicety”and admits that interrogations performed upon terrorism suspects by foreigncountries to which they are rendered “might yield treatment not consonantwith United States legal practice.” 110The Rendition Program Prior to 9/11The first rendition occurred in 1987 when the US tricked Fawaz Younis, aLebanese national implicated in the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847 and thedeath of a US Navy diver, into sailing to a boat in international waters. WaitingFBI agents then detained and rendered him to the US for trial and subsequentconviction. 111As noted previously, the renditions program had morphed into an activelyused counterterrorism tool by the mid-1990s, when President Clinton developeda more robust program to transfer suspects between nations withoututilizing the formal mechanisms of extradition. 112 For example, according topublic reports, Croatian authorities in 1995 detained Egyptian militant TalaatFouad Qassem, who was wanted in connection with Egyptian PresidentAnwar Sadat’s 1981 assassination. With the help of the US, the suspect wasBelfer Center for Science and International Affairs | Harvard Kennedy School61

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