22/10/08 (B470-B) Shabelle avec Moneybiz / Les USA démentent avoir torturé dans les geôles éthiopiennes .. / US denies torture in Ethiopian jails (En Anglais – Info lecteur)

The United States has denied accusations that its officers tortured terror suspects detained in Ethiopian jails after Ethiopia’s 2006 invasion of Somalia.

Rights Rights said US and other intelligence services interrogated several people detained by Kenya’s forces on its border with Somalia and transferred to Ethiopia, as they fled Ethiopia’s war with Somali Islamist rebels.

Several detainees, including eight Kenyans released early this month, said they were denied access to legal counsel and their consular representatives as well as tortured by US interrogators.

« The US takes every effort to ensure that any treatment of prisoners is handled in a humane way and any extraditions not be done for people who are subject to torture, » US Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Labour David Kramer told journalists in Addis Ababa.

« We stress the importance of transparency and the respect of human rights, » he added.

Addis Ababa has also denied claims it tortured the suspects while in its custody.

Ethiopia has released many of the at least 150 people who were in detention there, rights groups say.

They include women and children from more than 18 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

Separately, Kramer expressed concern over shrinking freedom in Ethiopia and draft legislation which, if enacted, would severely restrict aid groups’ operations