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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Complicité euro-américaine : Amnesty confirme

by By Ramine Abadie

"Extraordinary Rendition": Amnesty International Confirms US-European Complicity

Translated by John O’Neil

Translated Monday 24 April 2006, by John O’Neil

Amnesty Internation denounces the CIA’s "secret flights" over Europe, transfering suspected terrorists to countries that are known to torture political prisoners.

After the Council of Europe entrusted its investigation last November to Swiss senator Dick Marty, and the European parliament undertook its own research on the subject and promised initial results by June, it was Amnesty International who published its own report on the CIA’s secret flights on 5 April.

Flights are intended for the illegal forced transfers of suspected terrorists between various countries and more or less secret detention centers for the US intelligence services, so they can question them (even if it means them being tortured) without being hindered by what they consider the legal restraints of the rules of law.

The system, set up prior to the attack in New York on September 11, 2001, has experienced a literally exponential growth after the terrorist attack in American territory.

If the Council of Europe’s interim report suggests "at least one hundred" and probably more cases of people transferred illegally through European skies (the US administration’s jargon refers to the operation as "extraordinary rendition"), the Amnesty report goes further, identifying and and tracing the actual planes used and their flights-paths.

The NGO asserts that the US intelligence services systematically use civilian planes, just to circumvent the constraints of official flight information.

At the end of the day, it counts nearly a thousand flights, generally over Europe, some with stopovers in France, directly linked to the CIA itself and carried out by planes "operated by the CIA through front companies", probably intended for the illegal "transfers". Amnesty International located at least ten of these front companies with permits to land at US military facilities.

Add to that 600 other flights of planes confirmed as having been used temporarily by the CIA and well over a thousand others operated by companies working with the agency but not known to be connected to known forced transfers.

These flights passing through European airspace had Guantanamo, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the countries of North Africa or the Middle East as well as countries in Eastern Europe as their destination or point of departure.

The locations correspond to suspected secret US detention centers or prisons in countries which are, according to prisoner testimonies, used by the US intelligence services to conduct interrogations which include torture.

Finally, Amnesty finds that the CIA tries to cover its tracks by reselling the planes used after a certain time and similarly changing its front companies.

Published in l’Humanité on 7 April 2006


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