Daily archives: May 18, 2006

US officials give weight to reports of CIA kidnappings in Europe


CIA officials have corroborated reports that extraordinary renditions – transfers of prisoners from one country to another bypassing due judicial rule – have taken place on European soil with the blessing of EU governments.

A delegation from the European Parliament committee investigating allegations of US kidnappings and secret prison camps in Europe, on Wednesday (17 May) reported the information after a recent visit to the US.

“More than one source in the CIA…told us that between 30 and 50 people have been transported by extraordinary rendition,” Italian Socialist MEP and committee rapporteur Giovanni Claudio Fava told reporters in Strasbourg.

According to Mr Fava, the information MEPs received when meeting with the US state department’s top legal advisor, John Bellinger, assistant secretary of state Daniel Fried, members of the US Congress, lawyers and NGO representatives had been “patchy and inconsistent.”

But one clear point did emerge from the conversations, MEPs said.

“The only point in common from the officials we spoke to was that it was not possible to organise extraordinary rendition such as this without the active complicity of European governments,” said Carlos Coelho MEP, chair of the temporary committee.


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UN rights official says US stonewalling probes into CIA rendition claims

From the Jurist

Martin Scheinin, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counterterrorism, said Tuesday that US officials have been stonewalling investigations into allegations that the Central Intelligence Agency flew terrorism suspects through Europe to countries where they could be tortured. Scheinin expressed concern that as a result of US reluctance to cooperate with investigators it could take several years to determine the truth of the allegations.

Members of a European Union delegation investigating the practice known as rendition also complained of a lack of cooperation from the State Department during its visit to Washington last week. The EU visit was part of a European Parliament inquiry into whether European countries were involved in clandestine CIA prisons or flights moving suspected terrorists.

Reuters has more.

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