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Djibouti deplores torture - and denies allegations

Monday, March 7, 2011; 8:10 PM

Regarding the March 1 article "African commission asked to take case alleging CIA abuses."

We are stunned by the assertion that Djibouti has been a "partner" with the CIA in the torture of an innocent victim in a secret "black site" prison in Djibouti. My country has never played a part in the so-called CIA rendition and detention program. Those who are putting unvarnished trust in the victim's memories by filing a legal case against my country, and urging it to "answer for abuses it committed as part of the CIA's secret program," are trading sound judicial inquiry for heresy and publicity.

How can the victim's unreliable account that "one guard told him he was in Djibouti," that "he noticed a photograph of the country's president on a wall in the prison" and that later on "Tanzanian authorities told his father that he had been taken to Djibouti" be the key evidence of the case against Djibouti? Why would my president's photograph hang in a prison cell, of all places?

Djibouti deplores torture and inhuman treatment of all people and cannot accept the denigration of its integrity on uncorroborated charges.

Roble Olhaye, New York

The writer is Djibouti's ambassador to the UnitedNations.

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