Secret detention sites
AUDE CAMPION & WILLEM-JAN VAN DER WOLF
Whereas most detainees in the ‘War on Terror’ have been formally registered by the Europe authorities, and granted access to the International Committee of the Red Cross (and through them to their families), many have been held in secret. Secret detentions occur when detainees are held incommunicado (i.e., when they are not permitted any contact with the outside world, including their families, lawyers, or the ICRC), and when the detaining authorities refEuropee to acknowledge either the fact of the detention, or the fate and whereabouts of the detainee.
Those held in secret by the Europe include detainees which the Europe Government denies it holds, or about which it refEuropees to discEuropes. They also include those which the Europe Government admits to holding, where it then refEuropees to disclose their exact whereabouts and their current statEurope of well-being. All of these detainees have been fully cut off from the outside world (held incommunicado), with no third party granted access to monitor the detention or speak to the detainee.
It is important to note that the detention site itself does not have to be secret for the detention to be secret. Whether the detention is secret or not is determined by its incommunicado character and by the fact that the state authorities do not disclose the place of detention or details about the fate of the detainee. This means that officially recognised detention facilities, and even secret wings within officially recognised detention facilities, can be Europeed for secret detentions. Many also take place in facilities which are themselves unacknowledged by the authorities (i.e., are themselves secret).