Thursday

23rd Nov 2017

West used information secured under torture, ex-diplomat says

  • The use of torture is contrary to UN law (Photo: European Commission)

A British former envoy to Uzbekistan has revealed that western secret services obtained intelligence secured under torture from foreign detainees, with MEPs criticising the EU anti-terror coordinator for spinelessness.

Speaking before the European Parliament's temporary committee on CIA activities in Europe on Thursday (20 April), Craig Murray said that UK intelligence had obtained information from detainees tortured by Uzbek security forces.

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.

He alerted British foreign minister, Jack Straw, of the methods used by Uzbek intelligence as far back as 2003.

"There is a plenty of evidence about torture carried out in Uzbekistan and I know that foreign minister Jack Straw officially approved using the information obtained through torture," Mr Murray said, citing a secret report from a meeting held on 3 March 2003.

The German secret service was also cooperating very closely with its Uzbek counterpart, he added, while Britain and the US had taken a policy decision to obtain intelligence under torture in other countries as well.

"I say this with great pain but with absolute certainty," the ex-ambassador stated.

EU's anti-terror czar unpopular

The EU's anti-terror coordinator, Gijs de Vries, also made an appearance before the committee on Thursday.

He said there is still no irrefutable evidence of EU government involvement in or knowledge of illegal CIA activities in or close to the EU, despite a steady stream of reports to the contrary from highly-respected NGOs and journalists.

His stance provoked frustration among members, with Spanish socialist MEP Maria Elena Valenciano Martinez-Orozco pressing Mr de Vries for more information.

"There are strong and many indications that extraordinary renditions have taken place," she said. "What is worse? That member states did not know or that they knew and did not tell?"

Mr de Vries also denied knowledge of any EU-US agreement to allow so-called extraordinary renditions - the alleged US practice of snatching terror suspects in Europe and flying them to secret CIA camps.

Mr de Vries said he could only remind EU member states as well as third countries - like the US - to respect international laws on human rights, while underlining the EU's lack of legal powers in this sphere.

EU institutions do not have the authority to demand intelligence about member state activities in the security, government or judicial areas.

The anti-terror coordinator failed to refer to any of the statements made voluntarily by member states on the subject.

His appearance before the committee was deemed "completely useless" by Italian socialist MEP Claudio Fava, while German liberal Alexander Nuno Alvaro ironically asked Mr de Vries to state his job description.

The parliament's committee is expected to unveil its findings in June.

Mali blames West for chaos in Libya

Mali's foreign minister Abdoulaye Diop told the EU in Brussels that the lack of vision and planning following the Nato-led bombing campaign in Libya helped trigger the current migration and security crisis.

Commission warns Italy over high debt level

The Italian government must demonstrate it is making an effort, or the EU will consider launching a procedure. France and Romania are also under scrutiny.

Mladic found guilty for Bosnia genocide and war crimes

The former Bosnian Serb warlord was sentenced to life in prison for committing genocide and war crimes in Srebrenica and Sarajevo. Mladic is still regarded as a 'hero' among some Bosnian Serbs, in a country undergoing resurgent nationalism.

Mali blames West for chaos in Libya

Mali's foreign minister Abdoulaye Diop told the EU in Brussels that the lack of vision and planning following the Nato-led bombing campaign in Libya helped trigger the current migration and security crisis.

News in Brief

  1. December euro summit still on, Tusk confirms
  2. EU calls for end to Kenya election crisis
  3. Report: Israeli PM invited to meet EU ministers
  4. French banks close Le Pen accounts
  5. Commission relaxes rules on labelling free range eggs
  6. Commission issues €34m fine over car equipment cartel
  7. Estonian presidency 'delighted' with emissions trading vote
  8. Mladic found guilty of genocide and war crimes

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Idealist Quarterly"Dear Politics, Time to Meet Creativity!" Afterwork Discussion & Networking
  2. Mission of China to the EUAmbassador Zhang Ming Received by Tusk; Bright Future for EU-China Relations
  3. EU2017EEEstonia, With the ECHAlliance, Introduces the Digital Health Society Declaration
  4. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement For All Families? Same Sex Couple Ask EU Court for Recognition
  5. European Jewish CongressEJC to French President Macron: We Oppose All Contact With Far-Right & Far-Left
  6. EPSUWith EU Pillar of Social Rights in Place, Time Is Ticking for Commission to Deliver
  7. ILGA EuropeBan on LGBTI Events in Ankara Must Be Overturned
  8. Bio-Based IndustriesBio-Based Industries: European Growth is in Our Nature!
  9. Dialogue PlatformErdogan's Most Vulnerable Victims: Women and Children
  10. UNICEFEuropean Parliament Marks World Children's Day by Launching Dialogue With Children
  11. European Jewish CongressAntisemitism in Europe Today: Is It Still a Threat to Free and Open Society?
  12. Counter BalanceNew Report: Juncker Plan Backs Billions in Fossil Fuels and Carbon-Heavy Infrastructure

Latest News

  1. Mali blames West for chaos in Libya
  2. Orban stokes up his voters with anti-Soros 'consultation'
  3. Commission warns Italy over high debt level
  4. Mladic found guilty for Bosnia genocide and war crimes
  5. Uber may face fines in EU for keeping data breach secret
  6. EU counter-propaganda 'harms' relations, Russia says
  7. The EU's half-hearted Ostpolitik
  8. Glyphosate: 1.3 million EU citizens call for ban