EU Fails to Deliver Justice on CIA Renditions and Secret Detention

Subcommittee on Human Rights discussed on 25th of January the EU complicity in the CIA renditions and secret detentions. Reluctance to investigate such abuses by the EU Member States received staunch criticism and repeated calls to deliver justice.[:]


A landmark investigation by the European Parliament in 2007on the use of European airspace for secret CIA rendition flights has not been properly followed up. That’s the finding of Amnesty International report by Julia Hall and a related report by former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak. Subcommittee on Human  Rights on 25th of January debated what had been learned from the original report by ex- MEP Claudio Fava.


According to the February 2007 Fava report on the findings of the Temporary Committee over one thousand CIA-operated flights used European airspace from 2001 to 2005. It went on to say that temporary secret detention facilities “may have been located at US military bases” in Europe.


The flights formed part of the Bush Administrations “Global War on Terror” and concerned moving suspected terrorists out of Afghanistan or Iraq. Since the report a series of developments, moving accountability processes forward or new information on complicity, have taken place in EU countries.


Julia Hall stressed that governments and individuals must be held accountable for violating people’s rights and urged MEPs not to let momentum flag. Portuguese MEP Carlos Coelho (EPP) was the vice chair of the original EP Committee. He told the meeting that “Secret Detention centres are like a black hole where anything can happen” and stressed the need to “stop things like this to happen in the future”. To continue the work British Liberal MEP Sarah Ludford stressed the need to encourage
actors at a national level for more in-depth inquiries and cooperative efforts. Portuguese Socialist Ana Gomes raised the issue of secret detentions on ships.