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Rights group accuses UK of turning 'blind eye' to rendition flights

[JURIST] [JURIST Europe] UK-based human rights group Liberty [advocacy website] has said that remarks by UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw [official profile] that the US had not requested clearance for any flights relating to rendition [JURIST news archive] only served to demonstrate that the British government was turning a 'blind eye' to the practice. Straw said Monday that no requests by the US [JURIST report] had been submitted to UK authorities for rendition flights since September 11, although he admitted agreeing to two rendition flights during the Clinton administration. Liberty contends that Straw's remarks failed to answer any questions about whether UK airports and/or airspace had actually been used for the transfer of prisoners to or from the United States. Liberty has given UK police chiefs until Wednesday to open criminal investigations into those alleged to have been complicit in the use of UK territory to aid rendition before seeking to implement legal action against the government under judicial review. Read Liberty's press release on Straw's remarks. The UK's Independent Online has local coverage.

D. Wes Rist is Bureau Chief for JURIST Europe, reporting European legal news from a European perspective. He is based in the UK.

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