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Archive on EU and National Government & NGO Reports - Year 2009



February 19th, 2009 - Extraordinary renditions: EU Member states are also responsible

Press Release from the European Parliament


“[…] As recent developments confirm that EU governments have been involved in extraordinary renditions, EU Member states bear a share of moral responsibility for detentions in Guantánamo, the European Parliament says in a resolution adopted with 334 votes in favour, 247 against and 86 abstentions. The resolution makes reference to statements by the British government on the matter. The text was tabled by the PES, ALDE, Greens/EFA and GUE/NGL groups.


“The resolution recalls the statements by the UK Foreign Secretary on two US extraordinary rendition flights carrying two prisoners that landed on UK territory in 2002 and the compiling of a list of suspect flights that would be sent to US authorities to request specific assurances that they had not been used for rendition, as well as the statements by the Prime Minister in this regard; the referral by the UK Home Secretary to the Attorney General of the question of possible 'criminal wrongdoing' by MI5 and the CIA in relation to Binyam Mohamed's treatment.


“The resolution also recalls the High Court's ruling of 5 February 2009 that it was unable to order the disclosure of information about the alleged torture of Binyam Mohamed  because the UK Foreign Secretary asserted that the UK was threatened by the US with the blocking of intelligence-sharing about terrorism, and the legal challenge to the ruling based on doubts about the veracity of that assertion. […]”


February 4th, 2009 - Promotion and Protection of all Human Rights

Report by the Special Rapporteur to the United Nations


“51. The Special Rapporteur remains deeply troubled that the United States has created a comprehensive system of extraordinary renditions, prolonged and secret detention, and practices that violate the prohibition against torture and other forms of ill-treatment. This system required an international web of exchange of information and has created a corrupted body of information which was shared systematically with partners in the war on terror through intelligence cooperation, thereby corrupting the institutional culture of the legal and institutional systems of recipient States.


“52. While this system was devised and put in place by the United States, it was only possible through collaboration from many other States. There exist consistent, credible reports suggesting that at least until May 2007 a number of States facilitated extraordinary renditions in various ways. States such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Georgia, Indonesia, Kenya, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Pakistan and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland have provided intelligence or have conducted the initial seizure of an individual before he was transferred to (mostly unacknowledged) detention centres in Afghanistan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Pakistan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Thailand, Uzbekistan, or to one of the CIA covert detention centres, often referred to as ‘black sites’. In many cases, the receiving States reportedly engaged in torture and other forms of ill-treatment of these detainees.


“53. The Special Rapporteur reminds States that they are responsible where they knowingly engage in, render aid to or assist in the commission of internationally wrongful acts, including violations of human rights. Accordingly, grave human rights violations by States such as torture, enforced disappearances or arbitrary detention should therefore place serious constraints on policies of cooperation by States, including by their intelligence agencies, with States that are known to violate human rights. The prohibition against torture is an absolute and peremptory norm of international law. States must not aid or assist in the commission of acts of torture, or recognize such practices as lawful, including by relying on intelligence information obtained through torture. States must introduce safeguards preventing intelligence agencies from making use of such intelligence. […]”


February 3rd, 2009 - MEPs Debate Closure of Guantanamo Prison Camp & CIA Rendition Flights

Press Release from the European Parliament


“[…] In a joint debate, MEPs debated Guantanamo Bay prisoner camp and CIA renditions flights. Many MEPs called on Member states to facilitate the closure of the facility within one year (as announced by the new Obama administration) by accepting detainees while, at the same time, ensuring that detainees are not sent to countries where they could be persecuted. During tis legislative period, MEPs repeatedly called on the US to close the Guantanamo camp. […]”


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. […]”


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