World news Brief, Friday September 7

Human Rights Watch says CIA waterboarded Libyan prisoner; Bo scandal continues in China; Clinton visits East Timor; Colombia names team to negotiate with Farc; Democrats officially nominate Barack Obama for president; and more

Top of the Agenda: CIA Waterboarded Libyan Prisoner, HRW Says

A Libyan militant fighter held in U.S. custody in Afghanistan in 2003 was allegedly subjected to waterboarding by CIA interrogators (NYT), according to a new report by Human Rights Watch. The report, to be released today, is based on Libyan government documents from the era of Muammar al-Qaddafi, as well as interviews with fourteen detainees that were ultimately transferred to Qaddafi's prisons in 2004. At least five of those detainees--most of whom were members of the anti-Qaddafi Libyan Islamic Fighting Group--were held in Afghanistan by the CIA, the report says. Mohammed Shoroeiya, who was detained in Pakistan in 2003 before being held by U.S. custody in Afghanistan, claimed his interrogators strapped him to a board and poured water on his head until he felt like he was suffocating. The CIA has previously said that only three prisoners were waterboarded.


"The May 2011 death of Osama bin Laden and revelations regarding the trail of intelligence that led to his whereabouts also rekindled the Guantanamo debate over whether the use of so-called enhanced interrogation methods employed under the Bush administration but banned under Obama, has been vindicated," says this CFR Backgrounder on the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

"There are a few common themes in the administration's detention and targeted killing policies. First is the idea that the United States remains at war with al-Qaeda and its affiliates, and that the government can therefore wield very potent and coercive powers. Second is the principle that the U.S. government's actions are constrained by domestic and international law, but within those constraints the executive branch should exercise flexible pragmatism," says CFR's Matthew C. Waxman in this recent CFR Interview.



China Charges Former Police Chief From Bo Scandal

Chinese prosecutors charged Wang Lijun, the former police chief of Chongqing and deputy to senior Communist leader Bo Xilai, with defection, abuse of power, and corruption (NYT). Wang unleashed a scandal that toppled Bo when he fled to the U.S. Consulate in February and claimed that Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, had killed British businessman Neil Heywood.

EAST TIMOR: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited the capital of Dili today (CNN), becoming the first U.S. secretary of state to visit the country since it attained independence from Indonesia ten years ago.



Colombia names team to negotiate with Farc
Democrats officially nominate Obama

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