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Two reasons for Julian Assange to fear Sweden: Agiza and al-Zery

By NicolasDavies - Posted on 21 December 2010

There are two names that must be remembered in relation to Sweden's extradition request against Julian Assange: Ahmed Agiza and Mohammed al-Zery. In 2001, they were both in Sweden seeking political asylum from their native Egypt. On December 18th 2001, Agiza and al-Zery were picked up by Swedish police, handed over to masked American CIA and Egyptian agents at the airport in Stockholm and flown to Egypt on a Gulfstream V plane registered to Premier Executive Transport of Massachusetts. They were tortured in Egypt using extreme cold, severe beatings and electric shocks.
Agiza was suspected of membership in Islamic Jihad, while al-Zery was an innocent victim of guilt by association. His name was found on the computer of Yasser al-Sirri, an Egyptian prisoners' rights activist in London. British police had arrested al-Sirri as a terrorism suspect, but he was later acquitted of all charges. Al-Zery was eventually released without charge, while Agiza was sentenced to 25 years in jail, later commuted to 15 years. Swedish diplomats were supposed to ensure that the men received due process, but a Swedish government report found that Agiza did not receive a free or fair trial but that its diplomats could do nothing about it.
European courts are becoming increasingly reluctant to extradite suspects to the United States, which Amnesty International recently called "an accountability-free zone" for torture and other war crimes. Keeping prisoners in solitary confinement for 23 hours per day, as the United States does with Bradley Manning and other prisoners deemed dangerous or seditious, would be a crime in the European Union. International human rights laws prohibit any country from extraditing suspects to countries where they may be tortured or have their human rights violated, so there are solid legal grounds for denying extradition to the United States in any case with political overtones.
Extraordinary rendition flights also visited several airports and Air Force bases in the U.K. too, and Julian is far from safe from politically-motivated charges in the U.K. Thanks to Assange and Wikileaks, the whole world can now see the emperor without his clothes. Should the United States attempt to extradite Julian Assange, we will see the naked bodies of the European and U.S. criminal justice systems equally exposed for all the world to see.

i read the WaPo Report on Intelligence and there is a ton of info about who and what and how much but i don't recall seeing Premier Executive Transport of Massatwoshits ... how could the WaPo team who worked for nearly 2 years not include Torture a Category? i'll have to go back and recheck the companies involved in Intelligence/ human type and see hmmmmmm maybe i over looked it?

Hey Darwin26,

Check out Ghost Plane: the True Story of the CIA Torture Program by Stephen Grey (St. Martin's Press, 2006). It's the most comprehensive compilation of accounts of extraordinary rendition. The appendix has a detailed chronology of documented rendition flights from 1987 to 2006, with sources. Chapter 1 of the book is about the flight from Stockholm to Cairo that delivered Agiza and al-Zery to their torturers.

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