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Declassified Canadian memos raise new rendition suspicions

[JURIST] A series of internal Canadian government memos newly declassified under the Canadian Access to Information Act [text] has increased speculation that the US Central Intelligence Agency [JURIST news archive] has flown terror suspects through Canada as part of an extraordinary rendition [JURIST news archive] program transferring them to foreign prisons. One note stamped "secret" says that over 70 flights allegedly tied to the CIA have landed at Canadian airfields in Newfoundland, Ontario, Quebec and the northern territory of Nunavut since September 11, 2001, a significantly higher number than previously believed. In January, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada [official website] said that flights thought to be connected with the CIA exhibited no evidence of "illegal activities", and the Canadian Border Services Agency [official website] and Nav Canada [official website], Canada's air traffic control authority, have claimed that all proper procedures were followed in connection with the flights.

Human rights group Amnesty International [advocacy website] nonetheless says that it fears the flights "involved the transfer of prisoners to countries where they may be tortured" and has been pressing the Canadian government on the renditions issue. In Europe, the European Parliament and the Council of Europe have already begun hearings on the alleged renditions [JURIST report], and the British government Thursday came under new pressure from MPs [JURIST news archive] to investigate claims of rendition flights through the UK. Canadian Press has more.

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