Details of the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” techniques, considered by many to be torture, are set to be revealed in a long-awaited report.
The CIA ran a network of secret prisons, or “black sites,” for terror suspects in several countries around the world, according to a report on the CIA’s interrogations techniques released on Wednesday by the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee.
Former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski revealed for the first time that the CIA had run a secret prison in a military area in northeastern Poland, Reuters reported. It is believed that the prison was in operation from 2002 to 2003.
Another off-the-grid prison was located in Romania. In 2011 the Associated Press reported that a number of terrorist leaders had been interrogated in a basement of the office of the National Registry Office for Classified Information in the capital.
The CIA also used a training center of Lithuania’s State Security Department to house and torture some al Qaeda suspects from 2004 to 2005, ABC News reported.
Thailand also gave the green light to the CIA to run a secret facility, where Abu Zubaydah, one of the top commanders of al Qaeda, was waterboarded 80 times, according to the U.S. Senate report.
With four black sites, according to the media report, Afghanistan was home to the most secret CIA detention facilities.
Leaks about the Senate report first emerged in August this year, prompting Mr Obama to declare: “We tortured some folks. We did some things that were contrary to our values.”
The US president added that he believed officials at the time had used harsh methods because of the “enormous pressure” to prevent another attack on the US in the wake of 9/11.
The U.S. continued to run a number of these facilities, including the most notorious one at Guantanamo Bay, six years after President Barack Obama outlawed the use “enhanced interrogation tactics” authorized by the Bush Administration after the Sept. 11, 2011 attacks.
The Senate report said governments hosting these black sites were given substantial amounts of money. The report found that the CIA spent “well over” $300 million on its detention and interrogation program.
China joined other countries condemning the actions of the CIA, urging the US to “correct its ways”.
“China has consistently opposed torture,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.
“We believe the US side should reflect upon itself, correct its ways and earnestly respect and abide by the rules of international conventions.”
Rights groups say China’s own justice system is riddled with abuses and that it is not uncommon for confessions to be extracted through torture.