Magazine article Europe-East

Ep CIA Inquiry : Italy, Bosnia, Sweden Criticised in Meps' Report

Magazine article Europe-East

Ep CIA Inquiry : Italy, Bosnia, Sweden Criticised in Meps' Report

Article excerpt

The first findings of a European Parliament inquiry into CIA activities in Europe do not make pleasant reading for Italy, Bosnia and Sweden. Rapporteur Claudio Fava (Socialists, Italy) has slammed each of them for their role - be it active or passive - in helping the CIA to illicitly detain and transport terror suspects, some of who were EU citizens. The CIA itself is depicted as the mastermind and executor of such operations, which often led to suspects being tortured in countries like Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Afghanistan. Mr Fava's report, unveiled on 26 April, urges MEPs to probe deeper into the issue - until the end of 2006 at least.

Mr Fava says it was 'highly unlikely' European governments knew nothing about the renditions programme. In particular, the Italian security authorities most likely knew of the CIA's kidnap of Abu Omar in February 2003 in Milan. Sweden is slammed for handing over two Egyptians to the CIA to be deported to Egypt, knowing full well the risk of them being tortured in Egypt. The Bosnian government is criticised for letting the CIA take six men on Bosnian territory to the US detention centre in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

IGNORANCE NO EXCUSE

The interim report does not confirm the existence of secret CIA prisons in Europe for terror suspects, which was the claim that led Parliament to set up this temporary committee. Instead, Mr Fava pinpoints instances where European authorities colluded with the Americans in temporarily detaining terror suspects who were then sent outside Europe to be interrogated and often tortured. He said it was simply not good enough for European governments to take at face value diplomatic assurances given by the Americans that they would respect human rights. The evidence' extracted through torturing detainees was unreliable and 'very rarely' helped to combat terrorism. …

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