Netherlands accessory to secret CIA flights

15 February 2006

Netherlands accessory to secret CIA flights

According to SP foreign affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel, the Netherlands is an accessory to the secret transport of CIA prisoners. Mr Van Bommel came to this conclusion on the basis of flight data gathered by the Ministry of Transport which have been made public as a result of the 'WOB' procedure, the Dutch equivalent of the Freedom of Information law. Human Rights Watch has identified flights whose existence is revealed in these data as involving the illegal transport of suspected terrorists. “The Netherlands is not only guilty of the secret transport of these suspects but at the same time of being the dogsbody of the US, which is acting in breach of international law.”

Previous questions from Van Bommel to the government on this issue were lodged as long ago as 9th December, yet remain unanswered. In the meantime, Council of Europe Rapporteur Dick Marty has been investigating the involvement of European governments in the secret flights and has expressed suspicions that European authorities were aware of the flights.

The Dutch government has to date not committed itself, answering an earlier question by saying only that it “does not have at its disposal information showing that persons suspected of terrorism were kidnapped by the CIA, using violence, at least not in cooperation with other services, and taken for interrogation to countries in which torture is permitted. In consequence the Dutch government also does not have at its disposal evidence showing that such kidnappings took place on Dutch territory.”

According to Harry Van Bommel Foreign Minister Ben Bot is simply allowing himself to be lulled to sleep through easy denials and reassurances by his American counterpart Condoleeza Rice. The SP Member of Parliament has today lodged a written question with Mr Bot demanding a full explanation.

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