(European Parliament Member Cem Oezdemir)
Cem Oezdemir, a former German Bundestag Member and now a Member of the European Parliament, will be coming to Washington soon to press the matter of the CIA’s kidnappings, rendition program, and secret prisons in Europe — which may still be operating there.
A European Union report has been released that states that “European governments condoned the abduction, transport and detention of terrorist suspects by the United States on European territory.”
Regrettably, the European Parliament’s Temporary Committee on the Alleged Use of European Countries by the CIA for the Secret Transport and Illegal Detention of Prisoners has not posted the report on its website.
(The Committee’s IT guy must have the day off — but seriously, this is a marketing mistake. . .UPDATE: here is the report in French; not translated yet.)
I am hoping to have Cem Oezdemir lead a discussion about these issues at the New America Foundation but that’s not a done deal. I’ll be sure to post details if he agrees to speak.
Here is what Oezdemir and fellow Green European Parliament Member Kathalijne Buitenweg had to say when the Parliament report was released today:
We welcome the strong line taken by the interim report in denouncing the violations of fundamental rights that have occurred on EU territory as a result of furtive and illegal CIA activities. It is a major shortcoming, however, that the report goes soft on Member States, which were either actively or tacitly complicit in these abuses.
It is important to openly condemn those Member States, which were unwilling or failed to exert control over the illegal activities of the CIA in their jurisdiction. It is unacceptable that certain Member States are resisting calls to investigate the legitimate allegations of illegal flights on their territory.
The refusal of some Member States to cooperate with the EP inquiry is repugnant and highlights the limits of the temporary status of the committee. If the Parliament is to ensure that the violations are properly investigated and complicit authorities are outed, the temporary committee must be transformed into a genuine Committee of Inquiry.
I’m glad that while many in America are distracted by the fact that Fox News has just merged the White House more closely into its media empire, that someone is thinking about the fact that America is running a global network of secret prisons.
— Steve Clemons
Update: This is in from a staff member in the European Parliament who did a quick and dirty review of the European Parliament report:
Summary of the Report
Apart from the fact that it is odd to present the draft report to the press before discussing it in the committee, the report itself is very good and very strong.
In the “whereas”, it refers to art 6 of the EC Treaty (fundamental rights), to the Charter of Fundamental Rights, to the interdiction of torture, non-refoulement principle.
More concretely it fully supports the work of the Council of Europe and it also refers to the conclusions of the Swedish ombudsman as well as to the judicial and parliamentary inquiries in some member States.
It states that the work made so far by the temporary committee confirms the ‘bien-fonde’ of the decision to set it up, it asks for continuing the work.
The report states that a member state is responsible even in case of passive cooperation (see conclusion of the Venice Commission) or if it fails to prevent secret arrest and/or detention.
It asks for a better control on activities of foreign secret services in EU.
It states that the information gathered by the temporary committee is already sufficient to establish that “serious and inadmissible violation of fundamental rights” have been taken place in the EU.
The CIA is clearly responsible for abduction, detention and extraordinary rendition (in some cases of EU citizens). The behaviour of some member States is not appropriate.
It states that some EU governments were unlikely unaware of extraordinary rendition In Sweden, there are evidences that renditions were made by Swedish officials, the same in Bosnia.
The report considers that the Chicago convention has been violated: no sufficient checks and legislation in Member States to prevent such use of EU airspace and airports for illegal actions.
In conclusion, we can say that the report is very good in denouncing the facts that have been taken place in the EU territory, it provides for evidences. It states that there is clearly a violation of National, EU and international law.
— Steve Clemons