WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As many as 54 countries allegedly helped with CIA programs in which terrorism suspects were held in secret prisons overseas or turned over to foreign governments for interrogation, a human rights organization said in a report on Tuesday.
The report by the Open Society Justice Initiative said it focused mainly on human rights abuses associated with the CIA's secret detention and "extraordinary rendition" operations after the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.
The report, titled "Globalizing Torture," said its information was based on "credible public sources" and "reputable human rights organizations."
The CIA declined comment on the report.
"Secret detention and extraordinary rendition operations, designed to be conducted outside the United States under cover of secrecy, could not have been implemented without the active participation of foreign governments. These governments too must be held accountable," the report said.
Extraordinary rendition involved the transfer without a legal process of a detainee to the custody of a foreign government for the purposes of detention and interrogation, the report said.
It catalogs the treatment of 136 individuals and what help each of the 54 countries provided.
The governments accused of helping the CIA programs included some staunch U.S. allies such as Australia, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and some not usually viewed as U.S.-friendly such as Iran. The report said Iran had transferred some individuals to Afghanistan, which transferred them to the U.S. government.
"The United States and most of its partner governments have failed to conduct effective investigations into secret detention and extraordinary rendition," the report said.
While President Barack Obama after taking office in 2009 ordered the closing of secret CIA detention facilities, the executive order "did not repudiate extraordinary rendition," the report said.
The report's top recommendations were that the United States repudiate extraordinary rendition and that other governments refuse to participate in it.
The 54 countries allegedly participated in the CIA operations in various ways, including by hosting CIA prisons, helping capture and transport detainees, allowing the use of airspace and airports, providing intelligence and interrogating individuals, the report said.
(The report can be found here: here)
Reporting By Tabassum Zakaria; Editing by Eric Beech