Thursday

14th Dec 2017

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.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Dialogue PlatformThe Gülen Community: Who to Believe - Politicians or Actions?" by Thomas Michel
  2. Plastics Recyclers Europe65% plastics recycling rate attainable by 2025 new study shows
  3. European Heart NetworkCommissioner Andriukaitis' Address to EHN on the Occasion of Its 25th Anniversary
  4. ACCACFOs Risk Losing Relevance If They Do Not Embrace Technology
  5. UNICEFMake the Digital World Safer for Children & Increase Access for the Most Disadvantaged
  6. European Jewish CongressWelcomes Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Calls on EU States to Follow Suit
  7. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Boost Innovation Cooperation Under Horizon 2020
  8. European Gaming & Betting AssociationJuncker’s "Political" Commission Leaves Gambling Reforms to the Court
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Applauds U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital City
  10. EU2017EEEU Telecom Ministers Reached an Agreement on the 5G Roadmap
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaEU-Armenia Relations in the CEPA Era: What's Next?
  12. Mission of China to the EU16+1 Cooperation Injects New Vigour Into China-EU Ties

Latest News

  1. Estonia completes two out of three priority digital bills
  2. EU countries are not 'tax havens', parliament says
  3. Tech firms' delays mean EU needs rules for online terror
  4. Slovak PM: Human rights are not a travel pass to EU
  5. British PM limps to EU capital after Brexit defeat
  6. US pleads for clarity on Brexit aviation 'black hole'
  7. Tusk migration note prompts institutional 'hysteria'
  8. Migration looms over summit, as Africa pledges fall short

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EPSUEU Blacklist of Tax Havens Is a Sham
  2. EU2017EERole of Culture in Building Cohesive Societies in Europe
  3. ILGA EuropeCongratulations to Austria - Court Overturns Barriers to Equal Marriage
  4. Centre Maurits CoppietersCelebrating Diversity, Citizenship and the European Project With Fundació Josep Irla
  5. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceUnderstanding the Social Consequences of Obesity
  6. Union for the MediterraneanMediterranean Countries Commit to Strengthening Women's Role in Region
  7. Bio-Based IndustriesRegistration for BBI JU Stakeholder Forum about to close. Last chance to register!
  8. European Heart NetworkThe Time Is Ripe for Simplified Front-Of-Pack Nutrition Labelling
  9. Counter BalanceNew EU External Investment Plan Risks Sidelining Development Objectives
  10. EU2017EEEAS Calls for Eastern Partnership Countries to Enter EU Market Through Estonia
  11. Dialogue PlatformThe Turkey I No Longer Know
  12. World Vision7 Million Children at Risk in the DRC: Donor Meeting to Focus on Saving More Lives