MEPs to debate report on CIA actions in Europe

5th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

5 July 2006, BRUSSELS - European lawmakers on Wednesday were set to discuss a controversial European Parliament report which accuses European governments of having colluded with allegedly illegal CIA operations on the continent.

5 July 2006

BRUSSELS - European lawmakers on Wednesday were set to discuss a controversial European Parliament report which accuses European governments of having colluded with allegedly illegal CIA operations on the continent.

The report, drafted by Italian Socialist Euro MP Claudio Fava, details preliminary findings by a European Parliament inquiry committee into charges that the CIA abducted, transported and detained terrorist suspects on European territory.

Most European governments have denied the allegations, as has the United States.

Data from Eurocontrol, the European air navigation agency, shows that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operated more than 1,000 flights in Europe which it says could have been used to transfer detainees to countries suspected of employing torture.

The report does not explicitly mention alleged detention centres in Poland and Romania. But Portuguese conservative committee chairman Carlos Coelho has said the inquiry will use the upcoming six months to find out "whether there is any evidence to confirm that secret prisons have been operating in some European countries."

Fava has said that he will ask heads of the parliament's political groups to send a delegation to Poland and Romania. He wants to hold a hearing with government representatives from Britain, Spain, Italy and Germany.

The parliament's committee also called for new EU legislation on the use of European airports and urged member states to beef up controls on the activities of foreign secret services on their territory.

The interim report follows three months of hearings and more than 50 hours of testimony by human rights activists and individuals who say they have been kidnapped by US agents and tortured.

The committee's mandate is to examine "whether the CIA has been involved in extraordinary rendition, detention, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment on European territory."

Euro MPs also want to find out "whether such practices could be a violation of EU law on fundamental rights; whether EU citizens were among the detainees; and whether member states were involved or complicit in the illegal deprivation of liberty of individuals."

The 46-member parliamentary committee investigating the CIA charges was set up in January. It is working in tandem with an inquiry by the Council of Europe. However, the committee has no power to sanction European governments.

Euro MPs will vote on the report Thursday.

DPA

Subject: German news

0 Comments To This Article