Partners in crime: Europe’s role in US renditions

From Amnesty International

Europe’s governments have repeatedly denied their complicity in the US programme of “renditions” ‘ an unlawful practice in which numerous men have been illegally detained and secretly flown to third countries, where they have suffered additional crimes including torture and enforced disappearance.

As evidence of this programme has come to light, however, it has become clear that many European governments have adopted a ‘see no evil, hear no evil’ approach when it comes to rendition flights using their territory and that some states have been implicated in individual cases. These states include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Turkey and EU members Germany, Italy, Sweden and the UK.

Without Europe’s help, some men would not now be held without charge or trial, in abusive conditions, in Egypt, Syria and Guant’namo. Without information from European intelligence agencies, some of the men may not have been abducted. Without access to Europe’s airport facilities and airspace, CIA planes would have found it harder to transport their human cargo. In short, Europe has been the USA’s partner in crime.

The impact on both the victims of renditions and their families has been devastating.

At the EU Summit 15-16 June in Brussels leaders of EU states must take a clear and public stance against renditions and at the EU-US Summit 21 June in Vienna they must ensure that the EU reiterate this stance with the USA.

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