Friday

14th Dec 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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

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.

News in Brief

  1. Selmayr has no comment on MEPs' call to resign
  2. May had 'robust' discussion with Juncker
  3. UK to continue talks on EU 'assurances'
  4. EU invests €20m in AI software for self-driving cars
  5. Belgian PM 'not optimistic', urges 'no deal' Brexit preparedness
  6. Romanian president expects no Brexit summit in January
  7. Swedish MPs reject Lofven to lead new government
  8. EU commission's Selmayr 'must resign', MEPs say

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General

Latest News

  1. Fishing quota and no-deal Brexit preparation This WEEK
  2. Kosovo has right to its own army, Germany and US say
  3. EU needs election-meddling stress tests
  4. Russian and US obstruction was 'insult' to climate scientists
  5. EU-27 unimpressed by May, offer little on Brexit
  6. Rutte: New EU sanctions are informal 'Magnitsky law'
  7. EU summit hits asylum fatigue as deadlock continues
  8. Battered May seeks Brexit 'assurances' from EU

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs
  2. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  3. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  4. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  5. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  6. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  8. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  10. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  12. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us