Extraordinary rendition of terrorist suspects : the EU Member States' alleged assistance to the CIA

18-01-2012

Following 9/11, the Bush Administration established an ""extraordinary rendition"" system, whereby terrorism suspects were transferred, secretly detained and interrogated outside the US. There has been growing evidence of EU Member States' (MS) collaboration with the US, allegedly including stopovers by US aircraft at European airports and the setting up of secret detention sites in three MS. This would arguably amount to serious violations of international human rights law. The European Parliament and the Council of Europe (CoE) have investigated those allegations and initiated judicial and parliamentary investigations in individual MS. However, the investigators' work was hindered by the refusal of both the US and European governments to disclose information, in most cases on grounds of ""state secrecy"". No criminal proceedings against agents involved in extraordinary rendition could be initiated in the US. Those in the EU have not led to the extradition of American agents. Amongst the EU institutions, the European Parliament has been the major proponent of holding MS accountable for their participation in irregular rendition. It severely criticised the Council and MS governments for not doing enough to shed light on the actions of their secret services.

Following 9/11, the Bush Administration established an ""extraordinary rendition"" system, whereby terrorism suspects were transferred, secretly detained and interrogated outside the US. There has been growing evidence of EU Member States' (MS) collaboration with the US, allegedly including stopovers by US aircraft at European airports and the setting up of secret detention sites in three MS. This would arguably amount to serious violations of international human rights law. The European Parliament and the Council of Europe (CoE) have investigated those allegations and initiated judicial and parliamentary investigations in individual MS. However, the investigators' work was hindered by the refusal of both the US and European governments to disclose information, in most cases on grounds of ""state secrecy"". No criminal proceedings against agents involved in extraordinary rendition could be initiated in the US. Those in the EU have not led to the extradition of American agents. Amongst the EU institutions, the European Parliament has been the major proponent of holding MS accountable for their participation in irregular rendition. It severely criticised the Council and MS governments for not doing enough to shed light on the actions of their secret services.