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Amnesty says Europe countries 'partners in crime' in CIA rendition flights

[JURIST] Amnesty International [advocacy website] on Wednesday accused European states of being "partners in crime" with the United States in the alleged circuit of CIA rendition flights [JURIST news archive] transporting terror suspects to third countries known to use torture. The human rights group, in an open letter [PDF text; press release] addressed to the Council of the European Union [official website] in advance of a Thursday meeting, called for European nations to stop cooperating in the flights. Amnesty accuses seven European nations of participating – Germany, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Turkey – in a report [PDF text] released Wednesday, which analyzes the involvement of each.

In its report, which echoes accusations leveled at 14 European nations [JURIST report] last week in a draft report [PDF text] by the Council of Europe (CoE) [official website], Amnesty says there is "irrefutable evidence of European complicity in the unlawful practice of renditions." Like the CoE report, however, it provides no concrete evidence. The director of Amnesty's EU office, Dick Oosting, addressed that criticism by saying that "the whole evidence question is overrated" and that European countries require less evidence when they make similar accusations. In a related development, a European Parliament [official website] committee [official website] on Monday approved a report [PDF text; JURIST report] supporting allegations that the CIA was "directly responsible for the illegal seizure, removal, abduction and detention of terrorist suspects" in Europe. Reuters has more.

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