Monday, June 25, 2007

Poland and Romania: Take responsibility for secret detention sites

Amnesty International calls on Poland and Romania to conduct independent, impartial and thorough investigations into new information concerning CIA flights and secret detention centres on their territories. All European governments must ensure that the truth about unlawful activities carried out by national and foreign officials in their territory or elsewhere in the context of the US-led rendition and secret detention programme is exposed.

Amnesty International makes these calls as the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is preparing to debate Senator Dick Marty’s latest report on 27 June. The report contains new information about the complicity of European governments in the CIA programme of rendition and secret detention.

Amnesty International calls on PACE to adopt the draft Resolution and Recommendation on rendition and secret detention accompanying Senator Dick Marty’s report.

PACE's Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights "now considers it factually established that secret detention centres operated by the CIA have existed for some years in Poland and Romania". The delegations to the PACE of Poland and Romania have rejected these findings, but their denials remain hollow in the absence of impartial and thorough investigations.

"Europe’s political leaders must take a clear stand against rendition and secret detention, wherever they occur. The decision-making bodies of the Council of Europe and the European Union have yet to publicly condemn the US’s secret rendition and detention programme. They must demonstrate strong commitment to ending Europe’s complicity in illegal counter-terrorism practices," said Claudio Cordone, Senior Director for research at Amnesty International.

"While there have been credible efforts to investigate and ensure accountability for past violations, these have happened largely in spite of governments, rather than with their full support. Continued denial in the face of mounting evidence undermines the credibility of European governments and officials."

See also: Council of Europe: Amnesty International calls for action against renditions http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engeur100032007