04 Oct 2008 – Ethiopians release eight of nine Kenyans detained in secret jails since 2006 for questioning–some of them by US agents–return home.
The suspects were under arrest in Ethiopia without charge for one-and-half-years on suspicion of ties to al-Qaeda-linked groups. They were among a group of at least 150 who were arrested in late 2006 by Kenyan forces on its border with Somalia as they fled Ethiopia’s war with Somali rebels.
Later they were handed over to the Ethiopian military and transferred to several detention facilities in Ethiopia, Ali-Amin Kimathi, the chairman of Kenya’s Muslim Human Rights Forum (MHRF), told AFP.
Kimathi said the ninth suspect, Abdulkadir Mohamed Aden, who worked with Somalia Red Crescent when arrested, remains in Ethiopian custody for unknown reasons. A number of the detainees are said to have been interrogated by US agents in an aggressive manner.
MHRF and other rights groups said several of them were tortured, and accused Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia of breaking humanitarian laws.
Kimathi also accused Washington of pressuring these African governments to violate human rights.
US and other intelligence services interrogated several foreign nationals – including men, women and children – in detention in Nairobi and Ethiopia. The detainees were also denied access to legal counsel and their consular representatives, rights groups have said.
The detainees were from more than 18 countries — including the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. Other detainees included Somalis, Ethiopian Ogadenis and Eritreans.