Gulag was the name given to Soviet concentration camps where tens of thousands of people, disappeared and out of reach from their families, were tortured and remained imprisoned for years, without any official charges being brought against them. According to Amnesty International, ever since 9/11, the US has created a “universal gulag”, ranging from Guantanamo to the Iraqi and other secret CIA prisons. On its part, the US government claims that the measures are necessary and imposed by the war on terror. It also claims that detainees enjoy all privileges that international treaties guarantee them.
What is the truth? Can these emergency measures prevent a new terrorist attack and what will the cost on democratic liberties be? After a research that lasted a year and a half, interviews with the key-figures of cases that shocked the world and previously unreleased footage, Reportage Without Frontiers provides the answers in a four-episode special broadcast.
First Episode: CIA AIRLINES
At the American detention center in Guantanamo, Cuba, hundreds of Muslims, suspected of participating in terrorist activities, are being held without ever having charges brought against them. The White House claims that they are “enemy combatants”, who were caught during the war in Afghanistan. But in reality, many of the detainees were the victims of kidnappings, captured while being in Asia, Africa or the US. CIA Airlines - special charter planes that seem to belong to private companies - transfer those considered most dangerous to secret prisons or hand them over for interrogation to countries were torture is permitted.
This episode features interviews, amongst others, with Michael Scheuer, head of the Bin Laden CIA division and one of the founders of the kidnapping mechanism; Martin Mubanga who was kidnapped in Zambia and was set free after spending three years in Guantanamo; Canadian Maher Arar who was arrested at the New York airport and transferred to Syria for interrogation, as well as Craig Murray, former UK ambassador in Uzbekistan, who was ousted from his service due to his protest against the UK and US alliance with one of the world’s most brutal regimes.