2005-12-02

Some vague information on the Bondsteel allegations

What with all the talk of "secret CIA prisons" around the world, including Europe, there has also been some discussion (little solid evidence, though) that Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo may have been used as an oversight-free holding facility. I haven't posted anything on the topic so far because I have not seen conclusive reports that would suggest where there is anything serious to the stories or not. Today I received this item from friend of East Ethnia AR: the Montenegrin MINA news agency is quoting the UN ombudsman for Kosovo, Marek Antoni Nowicki, to the effect that "there was no doubt that Kfor [NATO-led Kosovo Force] had prisons in the southern Serbian province [of Kosovo-Metohija], which were beyond external, civilian and judicial control and this justifiably raises the question of what had occurred there," but that since he had no jurisdiction "we virtually know nothing about what goes on there." No indication of times, the size of the facility, who was held in it, or what happened, but something nonetheless.

For more on this story, and a broader reflection on the final status of Kosovo, see what Talos and Doug have to say.

2 comments:

András said...

Since then, Nowicki has come out with a statement saying he has been misquoted on this issue, at least by a Berlin newspaper which gave a more elaborate version of the somewhat vague report put out by MINA. You can check out his dementi at
http://listserv.buffalo.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0512&L=justwatch-l&D=1&O=D&F=&S=&P=27262

Still, he says KFOR did have detention facilities at Bondsteel where some people were imprisoned without due process and outside observers, including the Ombudsperson, were not allowed to monitor these facilities. But he says the last detainees to be held at Bondsteel were some of the people detained during the ethnic riots in March 2004, and they were transferred to regular prisons or released after a few days. Eric's questions, except perhaps for the time factor, remain unanswered.

Eric Gordy said...

Yes, I saw the denial. Not sure whether it resolves the question. If I get time to post between packing and tying up loose ends tomorrow, I will put something uo, if not then after I arrive.