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Europe parliament panel adopts CIA secret prisons report

[JURIST] A European Parliament (EP) [official website] special committee adopted a report [EP press release, DOC] Tuesday alleging that some EU nations knew about CIA activity in Europe including the existence of secret flights and CIA-operated secret prisons [JURIST news archive]. The European Parliament committee on CIA activities in Europe (TDIP) [official website] concluded according to an EP press release that "over one thousand CIA-operated flights used European airspace from 2001 to 2005 and temporary secret detention facilities 'may have been located at US military bases' in Europe" and criticized "the passivity of some Member States in the face of illegal CIA operations." The report will be presented to the full EP for a vote in February. AP has additional coverage.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] said Tuesday in a new briefing paper [materials] that some of the same EU nations have not complied with international standards to uphold the worldwide ban on torture. HRW said the EU nations had relied on false "diplomatic assurances" when returning suspected terrorists to high-risk countries. Reuters has more.

Last week, British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett [official profile] admitted in a written response to a parliamentary question [text] that Britain was "aware of the existence of a secret US detention program" prior to a September speech [JURIST report] by President Bush acknowledging the existence of the CIA-operated prisons for terror detainees. In November, a report released [JURIST report] by the TDIP committee concluded that 16 EU countries cooperated with the CIA "passively or actively" [AFP report]. The European Parliament investigation was launched after the existence of the secret prisons [JURIST report] was first mooted in press reports in late 2005.

1/29/07 - The committee's final report [DOC text] is now available.

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