Legal Drama

Human Rights Lawyer: 'Rendition' is Reality

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Some moviegoers might think Hollywood overstates the horrors of being kidnapped by the CIA and taken to a secret foreign prison to be tortured in Rendition, a new film to be released next week starring Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep and Omar Metwally, among others.

But, if anything, it understates them, writes Clive Stafford Smith, a British human rights lawyer, in a review in the London Times. Nonetheless, this is apropos, he says, for a courageous film that seeks to expose the “creeping criminality” inherent in the euphemisms, such as “rendition” and “enhanced interrogation techniques” that President Bush’s War on Terror uses for “kidnapping” and “torture.”

“Would that Rendition was a work of history,” writes Smith, who serves as the legal director of Reprieve, a United Kingdom charity that represents prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere. “Sadly, the rendition aircraft are still flying; the prisoners are taken to ever darker prisons—whether in Jordan, Egypt, Morocco or ships off the coast of Somalia—farther from the media and the rule of law.”

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