Daily archives: February 17, 2006

New calls for UK inquiry into secret CIA flights

By Ben Russell in The Independent

Ministers are facing fresh pressure for an independent inquiry into claims that Britain has been involved in secret CIA torture flights.

Tony Baldry, the chairman of the Commons International Development Committee, called on the Foreign Office to demand answers from the US about claims that British airports had been used as stop-off points for flights transporting terror suspects to countries across the world.

He told a parliamentary debate that so-called extraordinary rendition was “well documented… There is compelling testimony from people who claim to have been shipped abroad by the US and tortured. The UK government shows no inclination to investigate reports of US aircraft using UK airports or airspace for rendition purposes.”


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Ukraine: Uzbek Asylum Seekers Sent Back to Face Abuse

I am very worried about this development. After the Andijan massacre a large number of Uzbek activists, including several of my personal friends, fled to Ukraine, which is as close as Uzbeks can get to the West without a visa. It is further evidence of the collusion which the Karimov regime is able to obtain throughout the Former Soviet Union. It is also yet another count against the government of President Yevchenko, who have turned out to be as appalling as the lot they replaced, Orange revolution or no.


From Human Rights Watch

(New York, February 17, 2005) ‘ Ukraine has deported 10 asylum seekers to Uzbekistan, where they face torture and abuse, Human Rights Watch said today. These deportations violate international law.

On the night of February 14-15, a group of 10 Uzbek men was deported to Uzbekistan, apparently pursuant to an Uzbek extradition request. An eleventh detained man was not deported, apparently because he had relatives in Ukraine. Nine of the 11 Uzbeks had registered as asylum seekers with the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Kiev. Human Rights Watch learned prior to their deportation that the other two wanted to lodge asylum requests, but had not been able to do so. UNHCR issued a statement today deploring the forced return of the entire group.

‘Ukraine had a duty to protect these people and instead it sent them back to almost certain torture and abuse,’ said Holly Cartner, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. ‘Now the government needs to find out how it could have happened that asylum seekers registered with UNHCR were deported. And it must take steps to ensure that it never happens again.’


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EU Parliament reveals plans for its investigation into extraordinary rendition

From Forbes.com

A European Parliament committee investigating allegations that the CIA had secret prisons in Europe will contact senior CIA and Bush administration officials in the next few days – and ask them to testify on the matter, an official said Tuesday.

Italian Socialist deputy Giovanni Claudio Fava said the committee will start its work by questioning non-governmental and human rights organizations such as the New-York based Human Rights watch, which said it has circumstantial evidence indicating that the CIA transported suspected terrorists captured in Afghanistan to Poland and Romania.

Fava said EU lawmakers would then seek to speak to high-ranking CIA officials, including director Porter Goss, probably by mid-April, before drafting a preliminary report on their findings.

Other people on the list include former CIA director George Tenet, U.S. Senator John Kerry and U.S. Senator John McCain. Previously, EU deputies suggested U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice could be asked to testify.


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