SP urges government to protest against secret CIA flights

26 April 2006

SP urges government to protest against secret CIA flights

SP Member of Parliament and foreign affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel is urging the Dutch government to protest against controversial CIA-controlled flights through European airspace. A Committee of Enquiry of the European Parliament has this week confirmed in a report that in recent years hundreds of such flights have been conducted. Commenting on the revelations, Mr van Bommel said: “Spain has asked for an explanation from the US government. That is the least that the Netherlands can do. It would be more appropriate to issue a loud protest."

For the European Parliament Committee of Enquiry it has become obvious that the CIA has been involved in the kidnapping of people and has then subjected them to a form of trial without any kind of due process. They were taken to third countries with the aim of interrogating them or imprisoning them. This happened in areas under United States control, and the Committee of Enquiry found that the practices of some of the authorities involved were unsatisfactory.

Harry van BommelHarry van Bommel, who in the last few years has put parliamentary questions regarding these flights on a large number of occasions, wants to hear the government's reaction to the Committee's report. 'I'm glad it's been brought out," he said."It's time that the government began to cooperate with the enquiry instead of sticking its head in the sand and acting as if they didn't know what was going on, including here in the Netherlands.”

The Committee confirms that legislation in some European countries is inadequate, especially in relation to control of secret services from other countries, and recommended changes. Mr Van Bommel commented that “It is of the greatest importance that the Netherlands takes the Commission's recommendations on board and takes steps to bring to an end this sort of practice by the CIA and other secret service organisations."

The Committee further found that European legislation regarding the use of national air space and airports fell short. They underlined the need for new national, European and international norms. “The government must adapt its laws and rules and fully cooperate in the investigatory work of the European Parliament's Committee of Enquiry. No stone must be left unturned. Anyone who turns a blind eye is just as guilty as the culprits.”

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