Europe right to point finger at CIA and member states who collaborated in illegal flights

14 February 2007

Europe right to point finger at CIA and member states who collaborated in illegal flights

The European Parliament today found the courage to approve the report on illegal CIA flights. Commenting on the vote, SP Euro-MP Kartika Liotard said: “Rapporteur Claudio Fava took a very stern line with both the CIA and those European countries which permitted them to conduct their secret operations and then tried to thwart a European investigation. Most MEPs agreed that this was a sign that it was about time we showed our teeth. We are not prepared to accept any such abuses of human rights in Europe.”

Kartika LiotardThe SP’s Euro-MPs voted in favour of the Fava Report, as Ms Liotard explains: “Suspected terrorists who, in the full knowledge of European governments, were flown around the continent by the American secret service – as far as I’m concerned this is a breach of our sovereignty which we cannot permit. Shuffling suspects around between illegal prison camps constitutes an extremely serious abuse of human rights. We should neither be permitting this nor trying to cover it up.”

A number of European governments come under the hammer in Mr Fava’s report. “And rightly so,” Liotard says, “because going along with the CIA’s systematic abuse of human rights and then not being willing to cooperate in a European Parliamentary enquiry into this is totally unacceptable. Nevertheless, some MEPs voted against the report in an attempt simply to protect their own governments.” Amongst these were Dutch Christian Democrats who could not bring themselves to speak out in favour of a report criticising their own government and abstained at the final vote.

In Liotard’s view the European Parliament demonstrated today that it is not frightened of pressure from the US. “Moreover, enough MEPs have shown that they are capable of putting an independent critical judgement before domestic interests and the bluster of their government’s ministers,” Liotard said. The report was carried by 382 votes to 256. “Although criticism of some member states was toned down somewhat by amendments, Fava’s hard-hitting conclusions were left intact. This can justly be called a victory,” she added.

You are here