Sri Lanka permitted use of its airspace and airports for flights associated with the US’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) extraordinary rendition operations in 2003, New York based Open society Foundations said in a report.
Page number 109 in the report stated; “Sri Lanka permitted use of its airspace and airports for flights associated with CIA extraordinary rendition operations. Court documents indicate that at least one flight operated by Richmor Aviation (a company that operated flights for the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program)landed in Sri Lanka in 2003.The documents show that between August 12 and 15, 2003, a Richmor flight registered as N85VM took off from Washington, D.C., and stopped in Bangkok before making another stop at Sri Lanka’s Bandaranaike international airport in Colombo, and then flying on to Kabul, Dubai, and Shannon airport in Ireland. That flight coincided in time with the capture of Riduan Isamuddin (Hambali) in Bangkok in 2003.Isamuddin spent the next three years in secret CIA prisons before ultimately being transferred as a “high value detainee” to Guantánamo Bay in September 2006, where he remains detained. There have been no known judicial cases or investigations in Sri Lanka relating to its participation in CIA secret detention and extraordinary rendition operations.”
The OSF report also said; “Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Central Intelligence Agency embarked on a highly classified program of secret detention and extraordinary rendition of terrorist suspects. The program was designed to place detainee interrogations beyond the reach of law. Suspected terrorists were seized and secretly flown across national borders to be interrogated by foreign governments that used torture, or by the CIA itself in clandestine “black sites” using torture techniques.”
The report also stated that as many as 54 foreign governments reportedly participated in these operations in various ways, including by hosting CIA prisons on their territories; detaining, interrogating, torturing, and abusing individuals; assisting in the capture and transport of detainees; permitting the use of domestic airspace and airports for secret flights transporting detainees; providing intelligence leading to the secret detention and extraordinary rendition of individuals; and interrogating individuals who were secretly being held in the custody of other governments. Foreign governments also failed to protect detainees from secret detention and extraordinary rendition on their territories and to conduct effective investigations into agencies and officials who participated in these operations.
The 54 governments identified in this report span the continents of Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America, and include: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong,Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.