Monday

22nd Jan 2018

EU states must re-open CIA rendition cases, MEPs say

  • 12 EU countries stand accused of colluding in CIA rendition (Photo: wikipedia)

Lithuania, Romania and Poland should re-launch independent inquiries into allegations that their governments were complicit with CIA rendition and secret detention centres, according to a report backed Tuesday (11 September) by MEPs in Strasbourg.

In the report by French Green MEP Helene Flautre, MEPs accused EU governments of failing to investigate "highly credible allegations" of illegal detention and rendition.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

While a number of member states have instigated parliamentary inquiries into the allegations, politicians and campaigners have come up against numerous barriers, including restrictions on access to documents, narrow remits for investigation and political pressure.

The report attacked the terms of Poland's current criminal investigation into secret detention, stating that it "deplores the lack of official communication on the scope, conduct and state of play in the investigation."

Meanwhile, probes into claims that the Lithuanian government hosted two detention sites are still on-going, with an MEP delegation from the EU parliament's civil liberties committee visiting the country in April.

The report, which is not legally binding, comes five years after MEPs completed their first special enquiry on the matter, led by former Italian Socialist MEP Claudio Fava.

Allegations that EU countries hosted secret detention sites and known of rendition flights were first disclosed in 2005.

A total of 12 EU countries have faced allegations of involvement in rendition and other black operations programmes over the past decade.

The CIA programme, which formed part of US anti-terror policies following 9/11 attacks, saw suspects transferred clandestinely by plane to secret detention centres for interrogation in violation of international law.

Speaking after the vote in Strasbourg on Tuesday, Flautre said she has "evidence of extraordinary renditions, illegal detention centres, torture and other abuses" which "cannot simply be brushed under the carpet."

She called on EU governments to "openly acknowledge that these abuses took place and take measures to address them."

Her view was echoed by British Liberal MEP Sarah Ludford, who called on EU institutions to "have the guts and self-respect to enforce accountability for its own members' involvement in human rights abuses."

She added that the bloc's credibility in promoting human rights was "badly undermined by the justified suspicion that some of our member states rode roughshod over international law and civil liberties."

French centre-right EU deputy Michele Striffler noted that "secret imprisonment with no trial should be impossible on European territory."

During a combative debate on Monday night ahead of the vote, MEPs from Poland and the UK said investigations should only be carried out at national level.

British conservative Timothy Kirkhope, whose political group includes a sizeable Polish delegation, argued that the new CIA report made accusations without any "real proof."

"Until we have an opportunity to draw a line under the accusations and provide real proof one way or the other, reports such as this are actually feeding terrorists and extremist propaganda," he said.

For her part, EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding said the commission monitors human rights in member states and holds "regular dialogue with the US on human rights and counter-terrorism issues."

Under the EU treaties there is no common mandate to deal with human rights violations, but the implementation of EU laws on judicial co-operation must be consistent with the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

CIA rendition victim wins European court case

The European Court of Human Rights has vindicated a German national, a victim of the CIA’s secret rendition programme, in what human rights advocates are calling a major ruling.

Court rules Poland complicit in CIA renditions

A European rights court Thursday found that Poland allowed the CIA to operate a secret rendition and interrogation camp at its Stare Kiejkuty military base and did nothing to stop it.

Visual Data

Europe's social democrats are having a hard time

All across Europe, social democratic parties are struggling to stay relevant, leading to a crisis in one of the continent's oldest political ideologies. An overview of the data behind the current situation.

News in Brief

  1. Belgium lowers terror alert level
  2. France, Spain set to gain seats in post-Brexit EU parliament
  3. Orban family probed over 'fraudulent' EU projects
  4. Spanish judge rejects Puigdemont arrest warrant
  5. Austria plans to sue Commission over Hungary's nuclear plant
  6. Puigdemont proposed as sole candidate for Catalan leadership
  7. Abbas in Brussels to discuss Palestinian state recognition
  8. Exiled Catalan leader leaves Belgium for first time

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities: New Grants Awarded for Branding Projects
  2. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersOresund Inspires Other EU Border Regions to Work Together to Generate Growth
  4. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  5. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Calls on EU to Sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Expel Ambassadors
  6. Dialogue PlatformRoundtable on "Political Islam, Civil Islam and The West" 31 January
  7. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement and Same-Sex Couples in Romania – Case Update!
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Completes First EU Presidency, Introduced New Topics to the Agenda
  9. Bio-Based IndustriesLeading the Transition Towards a Post-Petroleum Society
  10. ACCAWelcomes the Start of the New Bulgarian Presidency
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li and President Tusk Stress Importance of Ties at ASEM Summit
  12. EU2017EEVAT on Electronic Commerce: New Rules Adopted

Latest News

  1. EU stands by Palestine on Jerusalem
  2. MEPs may bar killer robots and drones from EU research cash
  3. Europe's social democrats are having a hard time
  4. How Oettinger's CO2 permit sale could fill Brexit blackhole
  5. New Polish foreign minister tries to charm EU commission
  6. Middle East, Messi and missing MEPs on agenda This WEEK
  7. Instagram and Google Plus join EU anti-hate speech drive
  8. EU wants 'entrepreneurship' in education systems

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressChair of EU Parliament Working Group on Antisemitism Condemns Wave of Attacks
  2. Counter BalanceA New Study Challenges the Infrastructure Mega Corridors Agenda
  3. Dialogue PlatformThe Gülen Community: Who to Believe - Politicians or Actions?" by Thomas Michel
  4. Plastics Recyclers Europe65% Plastics Recycling Rate Attainable by 2025 New Study Shows
  5. European Heart NetworkCommissioner Andriukaitis' Address to EHN on the Occasion of Its 25th Anniversary
  6. ACCACFOs Risk Losing Relevance If They Do Not Embrace Technology
  7. UNICEFMake the Digital World Safer for Children & Increase Access for the Most Disadvantaged
  8. European Jewish CongressWelcomes Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Calls on EU States to Follow Suit
  9. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Boost Innovation Cooperation Under Horizon 2020
  10. European Gaming & Betting AssociationJuncker’s "Political" Commission Leaves Gambling Reforms to the Court
  11. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Applauds U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital City
  12. EU2017EEEU Telecom Ministers Reached an Agreement on the 5G Roadmap