EU Parliament: probe needed into members' role in CIA torture

Members of European Parliamant want investigation of any help EU member countries gave the CIA in its rendition, torture and secret detention of terrorism suspects

EU Parliament: probe needed into members' role in CIA torture

World Bulletin/News Desk

Members of the European Parliament called Wednesday for an investigation into the possible complicity of EU member states with the CIA in using "unacceptable" interrogation methods on suspected terrorists.

In a debate about a U.S. Senate report that revealed torture, members said that trampling fundamental values in the fight against terrorism was unacceptable.

"Torture is illegal, immoral and inacceptable," said Slovenian member Tanja Fajon of the Socialists and Democrats. "Europe's participation in any form in any type of illegal activity by the CIA is shameful, unworthy of democracy, unworthy of the foundations and values on which the EU was built."

EU Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said the commission believes EU countries should conduct "in-depth, independent investigations" into any involvement they had in the CIA tactics.

The 500-page summary of the U.S. Senate Intelligence committee’s report detailed the CIA's use of waterboarding, or simulated drowning, mock executions, sexual threats and other forms of torture on detainees.

"We need to end impunity," said Portuguese Socialist member Ana Gomes. She said the U.S. relied on her own country on at least 100 occasions to transport terror suspects.

Last week, human rights watchdog Amnesty International said several EU member states helped the CIA and other U.S. authorities in a program of rendition, torture and secret detention.

In July, 2014, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Poland had violated an international treaty to protect human rights by hosting secret CIA prisons on its territory. 

An investigation opened in Poland in 2008 is still underway.

Former President Aleksander Kwasniewski said he approved a clandestine operation in 2002 after the U.S. administration of President George W. Bush urged Poland to assist in the global war against terrorism.

But he and former Prime Minister Leszek Miller denied knowledge of the abuses reportedly committed during the interrogations.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has dismissed Britain’s role in rendition flights to countries including Libya.

"I am confident these issues have been dealt with from the British perspective and I think I can reassure the British public about that," he said. "But overall we should be clear – torture is wrong."

Swiss Sen. Dick Marty, who investigated unlawful CIA operations on behalf of the Council of Europe, confirmed in a 2007 report that such sites "did exist in Europe from 2003 to 2005, in particular in Poland and Romania." 

Fajon said that seven years after the publication of a European Parliament report, EU member states are "still not being held to account."

The Parliament's 2007 report claimed that more than 1,000 CIA-operated flights used European airspace from 2001 to 2005, and that secret detention facilities may have been located at U.S. military bases in Europe.

Marty, a former Swiss prosecutor, released two reports, in 2006 and 2007, documenting the complicity of dozens of European countries in setting up facilities for illegal CIA rendition and torture. They included Britain, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, Austria, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Albania.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Aralık 2014, 11:23