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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 September 2006, 21:46 GMT 22:46 UK
Morocco attacked on US rendition
By Richard Hamilton
BBC News, Rabat

A detainee at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre (file image)
The Moroccan authorities deny the existence of US camps
Human rights activists in Morocco are demanding that the government acknowledge the existence of secret US detention centres on Moroccan soil.

It is believed the US has interrogated suspects in a number of countries via the practice known as renditions.

Earlier this month President Bush admitted that such prisons did exist but gave no further details.

In a recent press conference, Justice Minister Mohamed Bouzoubaa denied any knowledge of such jails in Morocco.

'Black sites'

In a forest a few miles outside Rabat is a place called Temara, a complex of buildings that belong to the Moroccan intelligence services.

But it is here that human rights organisations say prisoners who have nothing to do with crimes in Morocco are subjected to torture.

The United States which declares itself a democratic country, must recognize that these so called black sites exist and that torture goes on there
Abdelhamid Amine

In conjunction with other organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, the Moroccan Human Rights Association has tried to plead for greater transparency about what has been going on in Temara.

Abdelhamid Amine, who is their chairman, said both the Moroccan government and Washington had to come clean.

"The United States, which declares itself a democratic country, must recognise that these so-called black sites exist and that torture goes on there," he said.

"The United States justifies all this in the name of its war against terrorism. But we, as the defenders of human rights in Morocco, cannot accept that in the name of the war on terror you can also violate human rights or practice the terrorism of torture."

The Moroccan government has so far refused to acknowledge that it houses such a detention centre.

Morocco is on a list of eight countries, most of whom are European, accused of accommodating the CIA-run interrogation centres.

Morocco has declared itself an ally of the United States in its so-called war on terror but in doing so it risks being alienated from other African countries as well as alienating a large proportion of its own people.

Bush admits to CIA secret prisons
07 Sep 06 |  Americas
Q&A: Bush and CIA secret prisons
06 Sep 06 |  Americas

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