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EU may suspend voting rights for nations operating secret CIA prisons

[JURIST] A top European Union justice official said Monday that EU voting rights could be suspended for any of the 25 bloc nations that are found to have operated secret CIA detention centers for US terror detainees [JURIST report]. EU Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Franco Frattini [official website] said the EU treaty explains that principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights, and fundamental freedoms are the basis for the bloc's creation, and the voting suspension is justified since the treaty also calls for punishment of continued breaches of these principles. The secret detention centers would be a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights [text] and Frattini indicated that alleged flights of al Qaeda suspects from Afghanistan to European nations for questioning would also violate international aviation agreements. Frattini is waiting on the results of an investigation [COE informational memorandum text] being conducted by the Council of Europe [official website], which indicated last week that large CIA secret prisons are unlikely, but there is information pointing to the existence of a post-9/11 prison camp in Kosovo with "shocking" conditions [JURIST report]. In the meantime, the US has told the EU that it needs more time to evaluate the allegations and respond. AP has more.

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