Europe's human rights body has called for steps to
ensure terror suspects never again "disappear
into thin air" from European soil.
June 27, 2006
Council of Europe accused states of colluding with
the CIA on secret flights transferring prisoners to
third countries where they could be tortured.
urged governments and parliaments in each state to
hold their own inquiries.
US admits renditions have taken place but denies that
people sent overseas are subjected to torture.
should not be allowed to disappear into thin air,
regardless of the crimes of which they accused,"
said Council of Europe Secretary General Terry Davis.
we want to be safe we must be fair.
only effective measures against terrorism are those
which stop more terrorists than they help to recruit."
Davis said he would be making recommendations to the
46 member states later this year on how to introduce
legal safeguards to prevent renditions or other human
rights abuses by foreign security agencies.
this month, Swiss Senator Dick Marty published a report
accusing 14 European countries of helping the CIA
spin a "spider's web" of disappearances,
secret detentions and illegal flights.
report, based on air traffic logs, satellite images
and personal testimonies said there was evidence that
Poland and Romania had allowed the CIA to set up secret
detention centres on their territory.
countries have followed Poland and Romania in denying
any wrongdoing. Critics have pointed out that the
report provides circumstantial evidence rather than
any hard proof.
the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
approved on Tuesday a resolution based on the Marty
report, which said it had been "demonstrated
incontestably" that secret detentions and illegal
flights took place.
* In-depth inquiries at a national level
* A review of the legal framework regulating the intelligence
* A review of agreements with the US on the use of
military infrastructure to ensure they comply with
human rights norms
* Efforts to develop "a truly global strategy"
against terrorism, with the US
states are obliged to respond.
Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini, who took part
in the debate, also said the flights were a "fact"
which the member states had a duty to investigate.
Davis said his own questioning of member states had
revealed that no European country currently had adequate
legal safeguards to prevent renditions occurring.
He said foreign security agencies were not subject
to effective control, and that countries currently
had no way of knowing whether aircraft in their airspace
were being used for purposes compatible with the European
Convention on Human Rights.
also said there should be exceptions to state immunity
in cases of serious abuses of human rights.
video put together by human rights group Witness,
including testimony from men who say they were tortured
after being detained by the CIA, was shown on the
sidelines of the session in Strasbourg.
El-Masri, a German citizen, recalls waking up in a
prison in Kabul where he was told by an interrogator:
"You are in a country with no laws... We can
lock you up here for 20 years or bury you, no-one
Mohammed, an Ethiopian citizen arrested in Pakistan
for travelling on a false passport, is still being
held at Guantanamo Bay.
the film, his brother reads from a diary entry which
talks about Binyam Mohammed being systematically wounded
with a scalpel.
Marty's inquiry will now be continued by a sub-committee
of the Parliamentary Assembly.
parallel inquiry by a European Parliament committee
will also continue its work for at least another six