Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Amnesty International Disputes U.S.-E.U. Denials Of Unlawful Renditions

A new report by the human rights group Amnesty International says that European governments, despite their statements to the contrary, have been "partners in crime" of the United States in conducting illegal "renditions" (kidnappings) of suspected Muslim terrorists.

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 Guantanamo. 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.

Amnesty is calling for European nations to coordinate an anti-rendition policy at this week's EU summit meeting, and to make such a case to the U.S. at the upcoming U.S.-E.U. summit in Vienna.


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