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EU parliament to launch CIA prisons probe

[JURIST] The European Parliament [official website] agreed Thursday to open an investigation [EP press release] into allegations that the CIA illegally operated secret jails in Romania and Poland and covertly flew detainees through Italy, Germany and Poland. Lawmakers approved the resolution to begin an investigation by an overwhelming majority of 359-127, with 32 abstentions. The EU’s ruling treaties say that any states found guilty of serious human rights violations can lose their voting rights in the EU’s Council of Ministers. Europe’s top human rights watchdog, the Council of Europe [official website], has launched its own investigation into the secret prison allegations. The resolution came on the same day that Amnesty International made new allegations [Reuters report] that Britain allowed the CIA to transport detainees through its territory. Human rights groups have accused the CIA of running several secret prisons [Human Rights Watch backgrounder] throughout eastern Europe and of transporting detainees through rendition flights in a belief that such covert detentions lead to torture. Reuters has more.

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