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CIA-Kidnappings: Location of Secret CIA Prisons in Europe

 

Introduction

 

This page lists the correspondence between representatives of the European Union and the site owner with regards to his information requests with regards to the CIA “rendition program” and the existence of CIA “Black Sites” in Europe.

 

 

Events in Reversed Chronological Order

 

December 22nd, 2009 - 3rd Reply by the EU Council

December 3rd, 2009 - 3rd Letter to the EU Council

April 7th, 2009 - 2nd Reply from the EU Council

March 30th, 2009 - Complaint sent to European Ombudsman

March 2nd, 2009 - 2nd Letter to the EU Council

February 18th, 2009 - Reply from the EU Council

January 27th, 2009 - Letter to the Council of the European Union

 

 

Related Documents

 

January 22nd, 2009 - Executive Orders 13491, 13492 & 13493

Compilation of 3 presidential documents filed at the U.S. Federal Register

 

“[…] Sec. 4. Prohibition of Certain Detention Facilities, and Red Cross Access to Detained Individuals.

 

 “(a) CIA Detention. The CIA shall close as expeditiously as possible any detention facilities that it currently operates and shall not operate any such detention facility in the future.

 

“(b) International Committee of the Red Cross Access to Detained Individuals. All departments and agencies of the Federal Government shall provide the International Committee of the Red Cross with notification of, and timely access to, any individual detained in any armed conflict in the custody or under the effective control of an officer, employee, or other agent of the United States Government or detained within a facility owned, operated, or controlled by a department or agency of the United States Government, consistent with Department of Defense regulations and policies. […]”

 

December 5th, 2005 - Full Text: Rice Defends US Policy

News article by BBC News

 

“[…] For decades, the United States and other countries have used 'renditions' to transport terrorist suspects from the country where they were captured to their home country or to other countries where they can be questioned, held or brought to justice.

 

 “In some situations a terrorist suspect can be extradited according to traditional judicial procedures. But there have long been many other cases where, for some reason, the local government cannot detain or prosecute a suspect, and traditional extradition is not a good option.

 

“In those cases the local government can make the sovereign choice to co-operate in a rendition. Such renditions are permissible under international law and are consistent with the responsibilities of those governments to protect their citizens.

 

 “Rendition is a vital tool in combating transnational terrorism. Its use is not unique to the United States, or to the current administration. Last year, then director of Central Intelligence, George Tenet, recalled that our earlier counterterrorism successes included 'the rendition of many dozens of terrorists prior to September 11, 2001'. […]

 

“Renditions take terrorists out of action, and save lives. In conducting such renditions, it is the policy of the United States, and I presume of any other democracies who use this procedure, to comply with its laws and comply with its treaty obligations, including those under the Convention Against Torture. […]”

 

November 29th, 2005 - “Dear Secretary […]”

Letter by Jack Straw, Foreign Secretary, UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office

 

“[…] As the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, I am writing to you on behalf of the European Union following media reports suggesting violations of international law in the alleged US detention or transportation of terrorist suspects in or through EU member states. This matter was discussed by EU Foreign Ministers at the meeting of the General Affairs and External Relations Council on 21 November.

 

“The reports have attracted considerable parliamentary and public attention. The EU would therefore be grateful for clarification the US can give about these reports in the hope that this will allay parliamentary and public concerns.

 

“I am sharing a copy of this letter with my European colleagues. […]”

 

 

Correspondence/History

 

December 22nd, 2009 - 3rd Reply by the EU Council

 

Dear Mr Ottmann,

 

Thank you very much for your message received into our public information service, from our colleagues of access to documents.

 

After careful examination by all relevant departments within the General secretariat, we can confirm that no information of the type you refer to in your request, be it oral or written, has been received by the Council.

 

Disclaimer: “The information provided has been prepared by the Public Information Service of the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU and may not be regarded as constituting an official position of the Council.”

 

Yours sincerely,

 

DGF - Public Information Service

General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union

 

 

December 3rd, 2009 - 3rd Letter to the EU Council

 

Dear Sirs,

 

I am sending you this letter to inquire about the information that the U.S. government has communicated to you with regards to the existence of so-called “CIA black sites”/CIA prisons in Europe.

 

I am aware from my prior communication with the Council of its position to withhold such information from the general public. Nevertheless, as a citizen of the European Union, I strongly believe that I have the right to obtain access to it.

 

These are my questions:

 

1) From its discussions, oral or written communication, with the U.S. government and its federal agencies, has the Council obtained information about the existence of a “CIA Black Site”/CIA prison in Antivilai, Lithuania? If this is indeed the case, when has the Council obtained this information? Has the Council forwarded this information to the Lithuanian government?

 

2) From its discussions, oral or written communication, with the U.S. government and its federal agencies, has the Council obtained information about the existence of a “CIA Black Site”/CIA prison in Szymany, Poland? If this is indeed the case, when has the Council obtained this information? Has the Council forwarded this information to the Polish government?

 

3) From its discussions, oral or written communication, with the U.S. government and its federal agencies, has the Council obtained information about the existence of a “CIA Black Site”/CIA prison at the Mihail Kogalniceanu airport and/or in Constanta, Romania? If this is indeed the case, when has the Council obtained this information? Has the Council forwarded this information to the Romanian government?

 

Thank you very much in advance for answering these information requests.

 

Sincerely yours,

 

Martin Ottmann

 

 

April 7th, 2009 - 2nd Reply from the EU Council

 

Dear Mr Ottmann,

 

Thank you for your email of 02/03/09 forwarded to us by the Documentation service.

 

Our sincere apologies for not having come back to you sooner.

 

Unfortunately, we cannot add much to our earlier answer since the Council is not in a position to request the disclosure of the location of CIA prisions in Europe because national security issues fall clearly under the exclusive competence of the Member States.

 

Sincerely,

 

DG F - Public Information Service

Secretariat General of the Council of the European Union

 

 

March 30th, 2009 - Complaint sent to European Ombudsman

 

[…] What is the decision or matter about which you complain? When did you become aware of it?  […]

 

The EU Council failed to respond to my information request.

 

On January 27th, 2009 I had sent the following e-mail inquiring about the Council’s intentions and plans to demand information from the new U.S. administration about the location of CIA prisons on EU territory. On February 18th, 2009, I received a letter from the Council. Unfortunately, the response from the Council did not at all address my question. On March 2nd, 2009, I again sent a letter to the Council and asked for a precise answer for my initial information request. Since then, I did not reveive any response by the Council.

 

For your information I attach the letter from Jack Straw from November 29th, 2005 to Condoleezza Rice. At that time Mr. Straw was the acting President of the Council of the European Union and in this function, he inquired officially about the existence of secret CIA prisons on the territory of the European Union. […]

 

[…] What, in your view, should the institution or body do to put things right?

 

The EU Council should actually and precisely address my initial information request. […]

 

 

March 2nd, 2009 - 2nd Letter to the EU Council

 

Dear Sirs,

 

thank you for your e-mail from February 18th, 2009.

 

Unfortunately your letter does not answer my initial question, if EU Council uses the opportunity to demand from the new U.S. administration the disclosure of the location of secret CIA prisons in Europe and to request complete information about the illegal use of EU airspace by the U.S. government for the transportation of detainees.

 

I therefore have to ask you for a more precise response, which actually answers this question.

 

As a reminder, I have attached to this e-mail the letter from Jack Straw from November 29th, 2005 to Condoleezza Rice, when he demanded information on the "CIA rendition program" for the Council.

 

Sincerely yours,

 

Martin Ottmann

 

 

February 18th, 2009 - Reply from the EU Council

 

Dear Mr Ottmann,

 

Thank you for your reply of 27 January.

 

The responsible service has given the following reply:

 

“The Council welcomes President Obama’s executive orders in which he decides to close down guantanamo within a year, end secret detention and “enhanced interrogation” and a review of detention, trial, transfer and interrogation policies in the fight against terrorism more broadly.

 

The Council has underlined many times in the past that the existence of secret detention facilities where detained persons are kept in a legal vacuum is not in conformity with international humanitarian and human rights law. The EU torture guidelines state that States should ban secret places of detention ensuring that all persons deprived of their liberty are held in officially recognised places of detention and that their whereabouts are known.

 

However, the activities of intelligence services and their supervision are in the exclusive competence of the Member States.”

 

Best regards, […]

 

 

January 27th, 2009 - Letter to the Council of the European Union

 

Dear Sirs,

 

on January 22nd, 2009, the new U.S. President Barack Obama signed Executive Order 13491 “Ensuring Law Interrogations”, which included an order to close down all “CIA detention facilities”.

 

In view of the past illegal activities of the U.S. government on EU territory, will the EU Council now demand from the new U.S. administration disclosure of the location of CIA prisons and information about the illegal use of EU airspace by the U.S. government for the transportation of detainees?

 

Thank you in advance for the information.

 

Sincerely yours,

 

Martin Ottmann

 

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