By Humphrey Carter

CONTROVERSIAL United States Navy “prison ships”, used as part of the U.S. “war against terror,” visited the Port of Palma in 2000 and 2005.
The visits of the ships were revealed in the Majorcan capital yesterday by British lawyer Clara Gutteridge, who was hired by the UK human rights group Reprieve to report and denounce the allegedly illegal ships, and the conditions in which inmates were held, to the international authorities.

Gutteridge, who also worked on the case against the CIA's rendition flights, some of which also used Palma airport as they carried alleged terror suspects round the world, was in Majorca as a guest of Amnesty International and revealed that the US.S. Ashland moored up in the bay of Palma in 2000 and the American merchant navy vessel MVPFV William B. Bough visited Palma on five separate occasions during 2005.

Reprieve have denounced eleven U.S. navy “prison ships” and five more merchant navy vessels for being used as prison ships firstly under President Bill Clinton and then the outgoing President George Bush.

Reprieve's Chloe Davies told the Bulletin yesterday that the organisation first began investigating the activities of these ships when it came to their attention that the ships were moored off the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.


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