Monday, December 05, 2005

U.S. Forced Renditions

Amnesty International today issued another statement on the issue of forced renditions either to secret bases or to third countries, such as Egypt. In both situations, we are are concerned that the renditions increase the possibility that prisoners will be tortured. We have documented torture in several cases.

"Amnesty International today revealed that six planes used by the CIA for renditions have made some 800 flights in or out of European airspace including 50 landings at Shannon airport in the Republic of Ireland. The information contradicts assurances given last week by the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern, that Ireland's Shannon airport had not been used for "untoward" purposes, or as a transit point for terror suspects.


The organization also rejected assertions by the U.S. Secretary of State as she began a four-nation tour of Europe. In a statement today, Ms. Rice argued that rendition—transferring detainees from country to country without legal process—was permissible under international law. Although the victims of rendition usually end up in countries known to use torture in their interrogations, Rice added that the U.S. government seeks assurances on treatment from receiving nations.

“These flight records provide irrefutable proof that the United States is ‘disappearing’ people into secret facilities where they are held incommunicado without charge, trial or access to the outside world and/or rendering them to countries with a history of barbaric torture practices,” said Amnesty International USA Executive Director Dr. William F. Schulz. “Secretary Rice is either misinformed or is part of an ongoing orchestrated effort by the Administration to mislead the American people and the world community. The evidence is glaring – the United States is outsourcing torture and using legal jargon to justify its actions.

“How many more new flight plans, disturbing photos and “black sites” must we and others expose before Congress acts? Amnesty International is urging Capitol Hill to create an independent commission to investigate all aspects of U.S. detention and interrogation practices.”

For the full statement, click here.

Amnesty previously had raised concerns about the abduction of Egyptian national Osama Nasr Mostafa from Italy. He allegedly was drugged and taken to a U.S. military base in Germany and then flown to Egypt, where he was allegedly tortured by Egyptian officials.

Amnesty also previous condemned the late-night forcible deportation of two Egyptians from Sweden to Egypt, where they were allegedly tortured. News reports indicated that American intelligence officials were present at the deportation.

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