The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] on Tuesday condemned Italy for their role in the 2003 kidnapping situation in connection with the US extraordinary rendition program. The court stated [Reuters report] that Italy failed to perform their duty to protect someone in custody from torture or inhumane punishment, which was said to occur after Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, and Egyptian Musclim cleric, was kidnapped. The court also determined that Italy knew Nasr was subjected to extraordinary rendition. An order was given for Italy to pay over 100,000 euros combined to Nasr and his wife.
The developments of this case have been unfolding for years. In January, a Portuguese court ordered a former US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] operative to be extradited to Italy to serve a sentenced after being convicted in absentia for her involvement in the situation [JURIST report]. In October 2013 the European Parliament [official website] said that EU member states’ complicity with the CIA rendition program [JURIST news archive] has led to violations of fundamental rights and must end immediately [JURIST report]. In December 2011 two international human rights organizations accused European countries of suppressing evidence of their roles [JURIST report] in the CIA rendition program. In 2010 an Italian appeals court upheld the convictions [JURIST report] of 23 former CIA agents convicted in the 2003 kidnapping and rendition 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.