WASHINGTON — Some 54 countries helped facilitate the Central Intelligence Agency’s secret detention, rendition and interrogation programme in the years after the Sept 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to a new human rights report that documents broad international involvement in the US campaign against al Qaeda.

The report, to be made public by the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI), a rights advocacy group, is the most detailed external account of other countries assistance to the United States, including things like permitting the CIA to run secret interrogation prisons on their soil and allowing the agency to use their airports for refueling while moving prisoners around the world, according to The New York Times which obtained an advance copy.

The report identifies 136 people who had been held or transferred by the CIA, the largest list compiled to date, and describes what is known about when and where they were held.

It adds new detail to what is known about the handling of both al Qaeda operatives and innocent people caught up by accident in the global machinery of counterterrorism.

So widespread and extensive was the participation of governments across the world that it is now clear the CIA could not have operated its programme without their support, according to the OSJI.

“There is no doubt that high-ranking Bush administration officials bear responsibility for authorising human rights violations associated with secret detention and extraordinary rendition, and the impunity that they have enjoyed to date remains a matter of significant concern,” the report, quoted by Guardian, said.

“But responsibility for these violations does not end with the United States. Secret detention and extraordinary rendition operations, designed to be conducted outside the United States under cover of secrecy, could not have been implemented without the active participation of foreign governments. These governments too must be held accountable.”

The states identified by the OSJI include those such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt and Jordan where the existence of secret prisons and the use of torture has been well documented for many years. But the OSJI’s rendition list also includes states such as Ireland, Iceland and Cyprus, which are accused of granting covert support for the programme by permitting the use of airspace and airports by aircraft involved in rendition flights.

Canada not only permitted the use of its airspace but provided information that led to one of its own nationals being taken to Syria where he was held for a year and tortured, the report stated.

Iran and Syria are identified by the OSJI as having participated in the rendition programme. Syria is said to have been one of the “most common destinations for rendered suspects”, while Iran is said to have participated in the CIA’s programme by handing over 15 individuals to Kabul shortly after the US invasion of Afghanistan, in the full knowledge that they would fall under US control.

Other countries are conspicuous by their absence from the rendition list: Sweden and Finland are present, but there is no evidence of Norwegian involvement. Similarly, while many Middle Eastern countries did become involved in the rendition programme, Israel did not, according to the OSJI research.

Many of the countries on the list are European. Germany, Spain, Portugal and Austria are among them, but France, the Netherlands and Hungary are not. Georgia stands accused of involvement in rendition, but Russia does not.

Some of the harsh interrogation methods the CIA used on prisoners under President George W. Bush have been widely denounced as torture, including by President Obama, who banned such techniques. In addition, some prisoners subjected to extraordinary rendition — transferred from one country to another without any legal process — were sent to countries where torture is standard practice.

Such operations remain the subject of fierce debate, with former Bush administration officials asserting that they were necessary to keep the country safe and critics saying the brutal interrogation techniques were illegal and ineffective. The debate has been renewed most recently with the release of the movie “Zero Dark Thirty,” which portrays the use of torture in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, though intelligence officials deny that was the case.

When he took office in 2009, President Obama rejected calls for a national commission to investigate such practices, saying he wanted to look forward and not back.

The Senate Intelligence Committee recently completed a 6,000-page study of the CIA detention and interrogation program, but it remains classified, and it is uncertain whether and when it might be even partially released.

Amrit Singh, the author of the Open Society report, “Globalising Torture,” said she had found evidence that 25 countries in Europe, 14 in Asia and 13 in Africa lent some sort of assistance to the CIA, in addition to Canada and Australia. They include Thailand, Romania, Poland and Lithuania, where prisoners were held, but also Denmark, which facilitated CIA air operations, and Gambia, which arrested and turned over a prisoner to the agency.

For some former intelligence officials, such critiques of the aggressive operations against al Qaeda smack of second-guessing. Michael V. Hayden, the former CIA Director, said in a panel discussion last week at the American Enterprise Institute that few voices had called for restraint in the panicky aftermath of 9/11 attack.