[JURIST] Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] on Tuesday asked EU member states to reconsider their involvement [press release] in the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] extraordinary rendition [JURIST news archive] program of forced transfer and secret detention. During a hearing before the European Parliament (EP) [official website], the group suggested that the EU member nations must work harder to investigate their own roles in CIA renditions. The hearings are intended to create the foundation of an EP report that will divulge details of a five-year investigation into each nation’s involvement in supporting CIA renditions. AI asked:
How can the EU, which portrays itself as a human rights standard-bearer, presume to tell other governments, notably those involved in the Arab Spring, how important human rights are when it steadfastly refuses to investigate its own alleged complicity in torture and disappearance?
Once complete, the EP report will detail findings of each nation’s five year self-investigation of complicity with CIA renditions.
In December two international human rights organizations accused European countries of suppressing evidence of their roles [JURIST report] in the CIA rendition program. Legal action charity Reprieve, in cooperation with the human rights organization Access Info Europe [advocacy websites], released their interim findings [report] in a report documenting right of access requests made in 28 countries to investigate flights associated with extraordinary rendition—the covert transfer of prisoners by the US from locations in Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere in Asia. In 2010 an Italian appeals court upheld the convictions [JURIST report] of 23 former CIA agents convicted in the 2003 kidnapping and rendition [JURIST news archive] of terror suspect Nasr, increasing their sentences. Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, was seized on the streets of Milan in 2003 by CIA agents with the help of Italian operatives, then allegedly transferred to Egypt and tortured by Egypt’s State Security Intelligence before being released [JURIST reports] in February 2007. In 2009 US President Barack Obama announced [JURIST report] the US would continue its practice of sending terror detainees to third countries for interrogation with increased oversight by the State Department to prevent torture.