Amnesty International’s reaction to Council of Europe’s report on renditions

Jun. 12, 2007

In response to the second report by the Council of Europe’s Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, which confirms that the CIA has operated secret detention centres in Poland and Romania, and perhaps in other Council of Europe member states, Amnesty International said:

Amnesty International applauds the report and the extraordinary investigative work undertaken by Mr. Martys office in getting to the well-concealed truth about the US-led secret detention program. With European complicity now clear, we believe it is time for states to take a long, hard look at how the misuse of state secrecy and national security doctrine has led them into a legal and moral quagmire, where secret detention, torture and other grave abuses can be practiced with impunity.

The report strengthens Amnesty Internationals finding that three former secret detainees, whose cases were extensively documented over a year ago, had been held in an Eastern European “black site”.

Swiss Senator Dick Marty, who lead the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, has made clear that collusion with the US at the highest levels of government came not just from the countries most directly involved in the secret detention program, but from all the members and partners of NATO, who signed up to terms that allowed free reign to CIA operations. And his report deplores the fact that the concepts of state secrecy or national security are invoked by many Governments to obstruct judicial and/or parliamentary proceedings aimed at ensuring accountability of the executive in relation to grave allegations of human rights violations.

Amnesty International supports unequivocally the position that terrorism can and must be combated by methods consistent with human rights and rule of law, and calls for the United States and European states to end renditions and secret detention, conduct independent and thorough investigations into the practices, bring to justice those responsible for abuse and provide reparations to the victims.

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