[JURIST] United States intelligence agents from the FBI [JURIST news archive; official website] and the CIA [JURIST news archive; official website] have been using secret prisons in Ethiopia [JURIST news archive] to conduct interrogations, according to AP Tuesday. The report alleges that men, women, and children from the neighboring African nations of Somalia and Kenya [JURIST news archives] have been secretly transferred to Ethiopia for questioning by US officials, hunting Muslim extremists. Though officials in the Ethiopian government were quick to deny these allegations, western security officials stated they had prisoners with links to al-Qaeda in custody. Based on reports from human rights groups [HRW report], AP reported that Kenyan authorities seized Somali refugees fleeing the recent violence in their country and then secretly flew them to Ethiopia for interrogation by US agents. The first abductee to speak out about her experiences, Kamilya Mohammedi Tuweni, said she was abducted and beaten in Kenya before being shipped to Ethiopia, where she was questioned by an American agent.
Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] first claimed [JURIST report] Saturday that the US, Kenya and Ethopia were cooperating with the transitional government of Somalia to detain refugees [press release]. "US security agents have routinely interrogated people held incommunicado," said Georgette Gagnon, Deputy Director of Human Rights Watch in Africa. Though the prisoners were primarily from the Horn of Africa, citizens of western nations such as Sweden, Canada, and even the United States are also said to be incarcerated in Ethiopia. If substantiated, secret jails and interrogations in Africa could prove an embarrassing counterpart to the US's European extraordinary rendition [JURIST news archive] program. AP has more.