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European officials satisfied with Rice assurances on detainee treatment

[JURIST] European officials have said they are satisfied with assurances by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [official profile] that US policies on the treatment of terror detainees fall within the bounds of international law. Rice is currently in Europe and on Wednesday met with foreign ministers from NATO and European Union countries. Officials emerged from the meeting expressing satisfaction with Rice's promises that international agreements are not interpreted differently in the US than in Europe. The US has recently come under fire for its rendition [JURIST news archive] practices and allegations that the CIA has operated secret prisons in Eastern Europe [JURIST report]. Earlier this week, Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot called Rice's assurances "unsatisfactory" [JURIST report], but after the latest meeting said he was "very satisfied" with Rice's arguments that the US respects international law. On Wednesday, Rice announced a major shift in US policy [JURIST report] to ban inhumane treatment of detainees by all internationally-based US personnel, but rights group Human Rights Watch said the policy shift is inadequate [HRW press release] and called for Rice to specifically address the CIA prison allegations. Reuters has more.

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