"The United States has not transported anyone, and will not transport anyone, to a country when we believe he will be tortured. The United States does not use the airspace or the airports of any country for the purpose of transporting a detainee to a country where he or she will be tortured." US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, December 5, 2005
"It never, never crossed my mind that I’d end up being hauled half way across the world by the Americans to face torture in a place I’d never been - Morocco." - Benyam Mohammed al Habashi, UK resident / Ethiopian national, who was arrested in Pakistan and is now detained in Guantánamo Bay.
Salah 'Ali Qaru finally emerged free from detention around midnight on 27 March. In nearly three years, the 27-year-old Yemeni was tortured in Jordan, flown from country to country, held for over a year in an unknown location and denied access to the outside world.
Salah 'Ali Qaru became one of probably hundreds of people caught up in the secretive and illegal US programme of "rendition". The CIA has used private aircraft operators and front companies to preserve the secrecy of their rendition flights, but nearly 1,000 flights have been identified as being directly linked to the CIA.
Salah 'Ali Qaru was then flown from his secret detention site to Yemen, where he was held for more than nine months without charge, before finally being charged with forging documents and released. He has never been charged with any terrorism-related offence.
His life has been destroyed. He has been traumatized by his ordeal. He has a two-year-old daughter he has never seen. His wife is destitute, living in Indonesia not knowing where he was for most of his detention. He doesn't know if he'll have the money or permission to return to his wife and child in Indonesia.
Salah Qaru's story and those of his country-men Muhammad Bashmilah and Muhammad al-Assad, who were also detained in the same secret facility, are just three of a handful of known cases. Potentially hundreds more remain completely secret. Renditions involve the transfer of people from one country to another in ways that bypass all judicial and administrative due process.