led collusion on secret CIA prisons: report
June 7, 2006
(Reuters) - More than 20 states, mostly in Europe,
colluded in a "global spider's web" of secret
CIA prisons and transfers of terrorism suspects, a
European rights watchdog said in a report released
Eastern and Central Asian nations played a role in
the network run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency
and European governments were not unwitting victims
of the operation, the parliamentary assembly of the
Council of Europe said.
is now clear -- although we are still far from having
established the whole truth -- that authorities in
several European countries actively participated with
the CIA in these unlawful activities," Council
of Europe investigator Dick Marty said.
countries ignored them knowingly, or did not want
to know," he said in the conclusions of the 65-page
report released on the body's Web site.
the report admits it has "no formal evidence"
of secret CIA detention centres,
a number of states had clearly colluded with the system
of CIA secret flights and secret transfers known as
and Romania on the
running of secret detention centres
and Azerbaijan were being "staging
points" for flights involving the unlawful transfer
and Italy for being
"stopovers" for flights involving the unlawful
transfer of detainees
Yugoslav republic of Macedonia,
were cited in relation to cases involving specific
Algiers and Baghdad also served as detainee transfer/drop-off
lawmakers called for Britain to come clean about its role
in the renditions affair, while Polish Prime Minister
said the report was slanderous.
accusations are slanderous ... They are not based
on any facts and that is all I know and all I have
to say," Marcinkiewicz
told reporters in parliament.
finding the lack of "smoking gun" evidence,
Marty said there were "a number of coherent and
converging elements (that) indicated that secret detention
centres have indeed existed
and unlawful inter-state transfers have taken place
data provided in January and February from Eurocontrol
helped uncover the web of flights, detention centres
and stop-off points used in the U.S.-devised system.
cases involving 17 individuals had come to light said
Marty but many of the Council of Europe's 46 member
states had been reluctant to provide information.
More cases could follow.
investigators said last month they believed 30 to
50 people had been handed over by the United
States since the September 11,
2001 attacks on U.S. cities.
the suspects' treatment "does not appear to reach
the threshold for torture, it may well be considered
as inhuman or degrading", his report added. The
pan-European rights body can name and shame countries
but cannot launch legal proceedings.
allegations of CIA abuses, first made by newspapers
and human rights groups late last year, fanned concerns
in Europe about U.S. anti-terror
tactics. But European governments are now under scrutiny
due to mounting evidence they at best turned a blind
eye to illegal activities.
insists it acted with the full knowledge of the governments
concerned, acknowledges the secret transfer of some
terrorist suspects between countries and denies any
Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.