Danish government was aware of secret US interrogations

usa-210409Although the United States continues to deny it conducted secret interrogations of suspected terrorists in foreign countries, the Danish government was aware of at least one case involving one of its own citizens.

Politiken received a report from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs that confirmed the US had detained and interrogated a Danish national caught fighting in Somalia in 2007. These interrogations were in violation of international conventions. Although the US itself informed Denmark’s government about the prisoner, two months passed before Danish authorities got access to the 36 year-old Dane.

“The story confirms what we already know – that the United States hides prisoners and interrogates them without the rights that prisoners-of-war normally must have. In this case it was with the collaboration of the Ethiopian government, and if the Danish government was aware of the case, it also bears a moral responsibility,” Red Cross Denmark’s Secretary-General Anders Ladekarl commented.

This report marks the first time Denmark has acknowledged it has concrete evidence of the secret and illicit American interrogations. But Foreign Minister Per Stig Moller, who declined to be interviewed by Politiken, contends his government did nothing wrong in the matter since the prisoner never brought his case forward to the Danish authorities.

The Dane was interrogated for weeks by American agents in an Ethiopian prison. His family thought he was dead, and his location was kept secret for more than a month. “You cannot just let people disappear for months at a time. If that happens, we wreck everything that our civilisation is built upon,” Ladekarl said.

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