EU, US "Partners" on CIA Flights: Amnesty
-- -- BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Amnesty
International urged European states on Wednesday to stop being
``partners in crime'' with the United States over the alleged
kidnapping of terrorism suspects and their transfer to countries
that use torture.
In a report and a letter addressed to EU leaders meeting on
Thursday and Friday in Brussels, the human rights group backed
accusations that the CIA ran secret transfer flights known as
''renditions,'' and that European countries were aware of them.
``There is irrefutable evidence of European complicity in the
unlawful practice of renditions,'' Amnesty said in the letter.
``The European Council must therefore put a resolute stop to the
attitude of see no evil, hear no evil that has prevailed so
far,'' Amnesty said, referring to the EU summit.
The human rights group urged EU leaders to say in their meeting
this week that the so-called rendition flights were
''unacceptable'' and to make sure their airspace and airports
were not used for such flights in the future.
It asked EU leaders to raise the issue with President Bush when
they meet him in Vienna on June 21, saying the bloc's
credibility was at stake.
Amnesty's report draws largely the same conclusions as those
issued by EU lawmakers on Monday, and last week by the Council
of Europe, a European human rights watchdog. None produced hard
The Council of Europe report said more than 20 mostly European
countries colluded in a ``global spider's web'' of secret CIA
jails and flight transfers of terrorist suspects that stretched
from Asia to Guantanamo Bay.
In a new report published on Wednesday, the Council's Secretary
General Terry Davis said additional information from member
states confirmed that many countries lacked adequate safeguards
against human rights violations by foreign agents.
``Very few countries appear to have adopted adequate and
effective procedures to monitor whether aircraft transiting
through their airspace are used for purposes incompatible with
the European Convention on Human Rights,'' it said.
Davis would shortly make recommendations on legal measures that
could be taken on the national and European levels to reinforce
existing protection against rendition and illegal detention, the
Council of Europe said.
Amnesty reported on six suspected cases of abuses by the U.S.
Central Intelligence Agency in which it said seven countries --
Germany, Italy, Sweden, Britain, Bosnia, Macedonia and Turkey --
Copyright 2006 Reuters Ltd.
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