European Human Rights watchdog Council of Europe accused 20 countries,
including many in Europe, of colluding with the US Central Intelligence Agency
(CIA) to create secret prisons to transfer terror suspects and use torture as
means of interrogation. West Asian and Central Asian nations played a major
role in the CIA’s “global spider network” and accused European Governments’
complicity in this extra-judicial network.
Council of Europe investigator Dick Marty said that "It is now clear although
we are still far from having established the whole truth that authorities in
several European countries actively participated with the CIA in these unlawful
activities. Other countries ignored them knowingly, or did not want to know."
Marty used flight data provided by Euro control early 2006 to uncover the web
of flights, detention centers and stop-off points used in the US-devised
system. He conjectured that there were "a number of coherent and converging
elements (that) indicated that secret detention centers have indeed existed and
unlawful inter-state transfers have taken place in Europe".
Marty says that 10 cases involving 17 individuals have been unearthed but many
of the Council of Europe's 46 member states have been reluctant to provide
information. Since the September 11, 2001, the European Union investigators
said last month they believed US repatriated 30 to 50 people over to countries
where they might face torture.
Newspapers and human rights groups late last year first alleged CIA abuses and
created concerns in Europe about US anti-terror tactics. Mounting evidence
against European Governments suggest that they at best turned a blind eye to
the CIA’s illegal activities. The US says the implicated governments were fully
aware of the secret transfers of terrorist suspects but denies any wrongdoing.
The Human Rights group, which does not have any legal powers and can only name
and shame countries, specially accused Romania and Poland for allowing the CIA
to set up detention centers on their soil. Both Governments strongly deny the
charge calling it "libelous'' and based on "speculation.''
This group admits that it has "no formal evidence" of secret CIA detention
Polish Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz challenged these claims
haughtily saying "These accusations are slanderous. They are not based on any
facts and that is all I know and all I have to say."
The main allegations made are:
Poland and Romania ran secret detention centers
Germany, Turkey, Spain, Cyprus and Azerbaijan were “staging points” for
flights involving the unlawful transfer of detainees
Ireland, Britain, Portugal, Greece and Italy provided “stopovers” for the
Sweden, Bosnia, Britain, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Germany
and Turkey handed over suspects
Islamabad, Cairo, Amman, Rabat, Kabul, Guantanomo Bay, Tashkent, Algiers and
Baghdad served as detainee transfer/drop-off points.