SSCI Report Names Djibouti as Host to CIA “Black Site,” as Case Pends before the African Commission

Djibouti is named as a host of a CIA “black site” in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) report examining the extraordinary rendition and secret detention program, Jason Leopold reported in a major story this morning for al-Jazeera America. According to Leopold’s sources, the report acknowledges that several CIA detainees were held in Djibouti, which is a strategic ally in US counter-terrorism efforts and host to a fleet of drones positioned for use in Somalia and Yemen. While Leopold’s sources did not name the detainees, they said that the report acknowledges that two were wrongfully detained. Lawyers for Mohammed al-Asad believe he is one of those former detainees. Al-Asad is a client of the NYU Global Justice Clinic, which–along with Interights–brought a case against Djibouti before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (see earlier post at Just Security). A decision by the Commission about whether the case should proceed to the merits is pending. The revelation about Djibouti’s role in the CIA program comes just days before the President of Djibouti is set to visit the White House.  The news raises hopes that the SSCI report could shed needed light on the as-yet unexposed aspects of the CIA program. 

About the Author(s)

Meg Satterthwaite

Professor of Clinical Law at New York University School of Law, Faculty Director of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, Director of the Global Justice Clinic Follow her on Twitter (@SatterthwaiteML).