Expatica news

CIA controversy refuses to disappear

13 December 2005

BRUSSELS — The controversy over alleged CIA abductions in Europe has flared again, with both the Council of Europe and the Belgian foreign minister raising renewed concerns in recent days.

Swiss Senator Dick Marty has claimed in a report that allegations the CIA abducted and illegally transported terror suspects across European borders are credible.

The report has been submitted to the Council of Europe, the continent’s human rights watchdog, BBC reported on Tuesday.

Marty criticised the US for refusing to confirm or deny the allegations, but the US has repeatedly insisted that it does not breach international law.

“The elements we have gathered so far tend to reinforce the credibility of the allegations concerning the transport and temporary detention of detainees — outside all judicial procedure — in European countries,” Marty said.

The EU has refused to investigate the alleged CIA operations, but has warned any member state found to have secret prisons on its territory could have its EU voting rights suspended.

A Turkish lawyer also claimed on Tuesday that the CIA has a secret prison in Turkey and that 150 detainees had been abducted in Turkey. The lawyer said other jails are located in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Jordan and Morocco.

Meanwhile, Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht again raised the issue of alleged secret CIA prison camps in Europe in a meeting of EU foreign ministers on Monday.

De Gucht said a comment from a staff member to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the Red Cross is not allowed to visit certain US terrorist prisons abroad casts the issue in a new light.

He said despite the fact NATO and EU ministers were satisfied by the explanation Rice gave about the CIA controversy in Brussels last week, her comments should be re-examined.

De Gucht said his concerns were supported by several member states, but the EU decided to not respond officially at this stage. Foreign ministers assured the Belgian minister, however, that this could occur in the short-term.

De Gucht refused to comment further on the decision, but said the US refusal to allow the Red Cross access to all of its foreign prisons lends weight to claims that it operates secret jails.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news, Belgian news