Rights group challenges France over CIA flights

18th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 15, 2006 (AFP) - A human rights organization Saturday called on a French prosecutor to open a judicial inquiry into the suspected stopover in France of secret CIA flights carrying alleged terrorist detainees.

PARIS, April 15, 2006 (AFP) - A human rights organization Saturday called on a French prosecutor to open a judicial inquiry into the suspected stopover in France of secret CIA flights carrying alleged terrorist detainees.

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) referred to an April 5 report by Amnesty International stating that several flights by the US Central Intelligence Agency agency were routed through France, as reported in the newspaper Le Monde in its Sunday-Monday edition.

"The report condemns the secret operations which consisted of stopping or picking up people to transfer them and detain them in a secret manner or to send them to countries where they were submitted to acts of torture and other maltreatment," said FIDH lawyer Patrick Baudoin in a letter dated April 11 to the prosecutor, a copy of which was obtained by AFP.

The report also indicated "some of destinations and the owners of the aircraft used... for the illegal transport", he wrote.

It identified a Gulfstream IV plane "which stopped over four times at France's Le Bourget airport" outside Paris and another "Gulfstream III plane" which stopped there twice, the lawyer wrote to Francis Molins.

Molins, the prosecutor in the district where the airport is located, had opened a preliminary investigation following an earlier complaint alleging torture of detainees brought by the rights group in December.

That was strictly an airport police inquiry, while the FIDH is calling for an international judicial commission to investigate the United States and other countries where the planes took off from and landed, Baudoin told AFP.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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