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Break the silence on CIA renditions, urge MEPs

Others Article - Human rights / External relations11-09-2012 - 16:17
 
Camp VI houses the communal living of compliant detainees and Camp V more like a maximum security facility houses the non-compliant detainees and prisoners share the same entrance at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on May 18, 2011. ©BELGA_Greg Mathieson_Landov   Camp housing detainees at Guantanamo Bay: MEPs want to find out if terrorism suspects were also interrogated in Europe ©BELGA_Greg Mathieson_Landov

Lithuania, Poland and Romania should open or resume independent investigations into allegations that they colluded with the CIA to hold and interrogate terrorism suspects in secret prisons, according to MEPs. A non-binding resolution on this was adopted with an overwhelming majority on 11 September.


Need for further investigations


Although it has already been five years since the EP's final report on illegal CIA activities in Europe was published, some member states are still unwilling to reveal the whole truth. During a debate on 10 September, MEPs said renditions should be further investigated, criticising member states' unwillingness to cooperate.


"Everything needs to be done to guarantee rigorous and independent inquiries into what has happened and who is responsible," said Hélène Flautre,  a French member of the  Greens/European Free Alliance who wrote the report on this.  "Member states' imagination is without limits when trying to mask the truth." She said she was convinced that "only coordinated European approach can break the silence".


Justice commissioner Viviane Reding called on the countries involved to continue "in-depth, independent and impartial investigations to establish the truth".


"Absolute disgrace"


MEPs condemned the lack of full disclosure and the failure to hold member state to account for alleged human rights violations. Dutch Liberal-Democrat Sophie in 't Veld said: "It is an absolute disgrace that governments of Europe refuse to tell people about their responsibility and refuse to offer their apologies. We will keep raising this issue until people have been held to account over human rights violations that were committed in our name."


French Christian-Democrat Michèle Striffler said: "The efficiency of anti–terrorist measures and respect of human rights are not contradictory, they reinforce each other," adding that "secret imprisonment with no trial should be impossible on European territory".


Moral authority


MEPs called not to forget victims of "the war on terror" and provide justice for them. They also feared that Europe might lose moral authority because of human rights violations within its territory. "Victims need justice and should get it," said Ms Flautre.


Slovenian Social-Democrat Tanja Fajon said that not only the victims of the tragic events of 9/11 should be remembered but also the victims who suffered and are still suffering due to the policy that emerged as a response to those events more than 10 years ago.


Marie–Christine Vergiat, a French member of the Confederal Group of the European United Left - Nordic Green Left, commented: "We got to clean our own backyard. The sooner the better."


However, some MEPs doubted that the EP report is a good instrument to address these problems. British Tory MEP Timothy Kirkhope said that any such investigation must be done at  member state level through an established process for independent judicial inquiries.

REF. : 20120910STO50933