Rights Watchdog Seeks Word on CIA Detainees

Human Rights Watch wants President Bush to disclose the fate of all terrorism suspects held since 2001. The organization believes some are detained in secret CIA facilities. Their whereabouts remain unknown.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

A human rights group is raising questions about people in custody for years as part of the war on terror. Human Rights Watch has put out a new report. It focuses on the treatment of terror detainees. Last year, President Bush described in general terms what he called an alternative set of procedures for detainees.

President GEORGE W. BUSH: These procedures were designed to be safe, to comply with our laws, our Constitution and our treaty obligations. The Department of Justice reviewed the authorized methods extensively and determined them to be lawful. I cannot describe the specific methods used. I think you understand why. If I did, it would help the terrorists learn how to resist questioning.

INSKEEP: The report from Human Rights Watch attempts to document at least one account of what those procedures mean. It details the story of an accused jihadist. He claims to have been tortured and denied communication with anyone besides his captors for more than two years.

This report also identifies 16 people described as ghost prisoners. Human Rights Watch says those 16 were known to be held by the U.S. government at some point, but today their locations are unknown.

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