Antallet er kanskje ikke stort. Men for hvert tilfelle der amerikanerne «tar» en person og flyr ham til et tredjeland, hvor det ikke er så nøye med fangers rettigheter, får USAs motstandere kjærkommen ammunisjon.
I land som Sverige, Canada og Italia verserer det nå saker som tærer på forholdet til USA.
I Italia gjaldt det en imam, Abu Omar, som var under overvåkning for samarbeid med terrorister. Amerikanerne bortførte ham til en amerikansk militærbase og fløy ham til Egypt.
In Italy, an Egyptian-born imam identified as Abu Omar had already drawn the attention of Italian anti-terrorism officials when he vanished off the streets of Milan two years ago, reportedly bundled into a van and flown back to Egypt from a joint U.S.-Italian air base.
«The prosecution is certain it was a kidnapping,» prosecutor Armando Spataro told The Associated Press last week. He would not say who is suspected, citing judicial secrecy as the investigation is still under way.
Italian news reports say the CIA was believed to have played a role in the disappearance, and opposition politicians have demanded explanations from the government of Premier Silvio Berlusconi, a close ally of President Bush.
Citing conversations recorded by Italian anti-terrorism officials in a wiretap, the Corriere della Sera and La Repubblica newspapers reported that Omar, 42, called his wife and friends in Milan after his release last year. He recounted how he had been seized by Italian and American agents and taken to a secret prison in Egypt, where he was tortured with electric shocks. Italian officials say he is now living in Egypt, although Italian newspaper accounts suggested he was returned to custody in Egypt shortly after his release.
I Sverige utleverte svensk politi to terrormistenkte egyptere til amerikanske agenter, som fløy mennene til Egypt. Den ene fikk 25 år, den andre ble frigitt. Tilliten til det egyptiske rettsvesenet er ikke spesielt høy.
Dec. 18, 2001, Swedish security police turned over Ahmed Agiza, 41, and Muhammed Alzery, 35, to U.S. agents at Stockholm’s Bromma Airport. The Americans, wearing black masks, took the two into a small room and cut off their clothes with scissors, replacing them with prisoner uniforms, before placing them on a U.S.-registered Gulfstream jet, according to a report by Sweden’s chief parliamentary ombudsman, a watchdog of state agencies.
The U.S. agents examined their mouths and ears, handcuffed them and fettered their ankles and placed hoods over their heads, the report said, calling the treatment «inhuman» and inconsistent with Swedish law.
Agiza was convicted by Egypt’s Supreme Military Court on April 27, 2004, of belonging to and leading an outlawed group aiming to overthrow the government. He was sentenced to 25 years on the same charge in 1999 while he was in exile in Sweden. Alzery was released from an Egyptian prison last October, where he had been held on terrorism charges.
Saken har fått stor oppmerksomhet i Sverige, og har ført til nye regler for utlevering av mistenkte.
Det tredje tilfellet gjelder canadisk-syriske Maher Arar, som i oktober 2002, ble arrestert mens han var i transit i New York, på vei hjem. Arar ble holdt i 12 dager før han ble sendt til Syria. Her ble han ifølge eget utsagn torturert. Etter ett år i en fuktig, mørk celle ble han satt fri, uten å ha blitt tiltalt. Da Canadas forsvarsminister tok saken opp med den amerikanske ambassadøren, fikk han til svar at USA var i sin fulle rett.