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News > World

China Slams US for Prisoner Abuse at 'Black Sites'

  • Demonstrators dressed in Guantanamo Bay prisoner uniforms, Washington DC, U.S., 2020.

    Demonstrators dressed in Guantanamo Bay prisoner uniforms, Washington DC, U.S., 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @AndyVermaut

Published 8 April 2022

Washington controls black sites in at least 54 countries. Over 100,000 people have been detained at these sites, including Muslims, women, and children.

On Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian lashed out at the United States for prisoner abuse at "black sites," calling its "enhanced interrogation techniques" brutal and horrifying.


China: US' Human Rights Commitment Violation

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has set up these black sites in many countries under the pretext of its "War on Terror." Alleged terrorists are secretly placed in arbitrary detention and confessions are extorted by torture. 

The Guardian reported that, according to a newly declassified report, a detainee at a secret CIA detention site in Afghanistan was used as a living prop to teach trainee interrogators, who lined up to take turns at knocking his head against a plywood wall and dousing him with ice-cold water. The torture has left him devastated both physically and mentally.

"Guantanamo Bay, the Bagram prison in Afghanistan and the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq are caught up in prisoner abuse scandals, with the use of brutal and horrifying 'enhanced interrogation techniques,' including waterboarding and sleep deprivation," Zhao said, calling the black sites "typical examples of the U.S. trampling on the rule of law." 

The report from the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs released at the beginning of 2022 noted that the U.S. controls black sites in at least 54 countries.

Over 100,000 people were detained at these sites, including Muslims, women and children. U.S. taxpayers are spending US$540 million a year just to detain prisoners at Guantanamo.

"However, not a single U.S. official has so far been held to account for devising, authorizing or implementing the secret detention and torture program," Zhao said, adding that the U.S. government has gone even further to cover up and deny its crimes against human rights.

In 2020, after the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) noted that the U.S. forces may have committed war crimes in Afghanistan. The U.S. leveled sanctions and imposed visa restrictions on several officials, including the chief prosecutor of the ICC. In 2021, after the UN Committee Against Torture said that the CIA black sites are rife with torture, the U.S. government refused to disclose relevant information, citing confidentiality.

"Facts speak louder than words," Zhao said, noting that the U.S. black sites around the world fully indicate that the U.S. has no right to point a finger at any other country in the name of democracy and human rights. 


Zhao Lijian
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