[JURIST] The US will continue its practice of sending terror detainees to third countries for interrogation with increased oversight to prevent torture, the New York Times [media website] reported [text] Monday. The practice, known as rendition [JURIST news archive], received worldwide attention during the Bush administration when many detainees alleged they had been tortured by the governments of the countries to which they had been transferred. It is not clear how the program will be overseen, but the Department of State [official website] will reportedly monitor the process. A Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] study recommended [DOJ press release; JURIST report] to Obama on Monday that the US increase oversight in its transfer of detainees.
The CIA's rendition program has been the source of much controversy and litigation. Last month, UK human rights group Reprieve [advocacy website] announced that it is suing the British government [JURIST report] over the rendition of Mohammed Saad Iqbal Madni [advocacy profile] from Indonesia to Egypt, where it says he was tortured. The group alleges that the UK allowed the US rendition flight of Madni to stop on the British island territory of Diego Garcia [GlobalSecurity backgrounder], despite government claims that the island was not part of the US's rendition program. In April, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that the state secrets privilege [JURIST news archive] does not bar a lawsuit against a company that allegedly provided logistical support for CIA rendition flights. The DOJ has sought to have that case reheard en banc [JURIST report]. In February, CIA Director Leon Panetta announced [JURIST report] that the US would continue to use rendition, but would do so with oversight so as to avoid the problems of extraordinary rendition that occurred during the Bush administration.