Council of Europe: Compensation for renditions

27th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

27 June 2007, Strasbourg (dpa) - The Council of Europe (CoE) on Wednesday called for detainees who had been held by US intelligence services as part of so-called "extraordinary rendition" flights and secret prison programmes to be compensated and rehabilitated. In a resolution passed by a majority of lawmakers in the council's parliamentary assembly, the body also called on the governments of its 47 member states to fully clarify details of any illegal CIA activities known to have taken place in their juri

27 June 2007

Strasbourg (dpa) - The Council of Europe (CoE) on Wednesday called for detainees who had been held by US intelligence services as part of so-called "extraordinary rendition" flights and secret prison programmes to be compensated and rehabilitated.

In a resolution passed by a majority of lawmakers in the council's parliamentary assembly, the body also called on the governments of its 47 member states to fully clarify details of any illegal CIA activities known to have taken place in their jurisdiction.

Legislators cited the case of Lebanese-German Khaled el-Masri, who in 2003 was kidnapped while on holidays in Macedonia and flown to Afghanistan, and "is still waiting for his rehabilitation and for compensation he is entitled to."

The declaration followed debate on a hard-hitting report by Swiss legislator Dick Marty on the alleged covert activities of US intelligence services in Europe.

Marty's questions regarding alleged illegal CIA activity had however been met with a "wall of silence" by many European governments, he said at the opening of the debate in Strasbourg.

"Many countries hide behind the idea of state secrecy in order to cover up human rights abuses," he continued. "That is unacceptable."

Marty had following over a year of research and discussions with high-ranking intelligence officers in the United States and Europe concluded that suspects were detained by US intelligence services in Poland and Romania during the period 2002-2005.

"We had always cross-referenced information from both sides of the Atlantic," he said in response to objections by Polish legislators accusing him of having no proof.

Sources spoken to as part of the probe were "believable and high- level," he said. The governments concerned have however rejected Marty's claims.

However following the admission by US President George W Bush that such covert detention facilities existed, Marty's assertions could no longer be doubted, President of the Parliamentary Assembly Rene van der Linden said.

The council was not concerned with condemning Poland or Romania, Marty said, emphasising that the investigation was focussed on "bringing the truth to light."

Human rights abuses were not to be tolerated, also in the war against terrorism, German legislator Christoph Straesser said.

Some former detainees had given accounts of mistreatment to Marty, alleging that they were deprived of food, housed in small cells, exposed to extremes of heat or cold and endured weeks of isolation during their detention.

DPA

Subject: German news

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