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Parliament to resume investigations into CIA-led operations in EU countries

Parliament's civil liberties, foreign affairs and human rights committees will resume investigations into the CIA's alleged transportation and illegal detention of prisoners in EU countries, in the light of the US Senate's new revelations of the use of torture by the CIA, says a resolution passed on Wednesday. MEPs also again call on EU member states to investigate these allegations and prosecute those involved.

The US Senate report released in December "reveals new facts that reinforce allegations that a number of EU member states, their authorities and officials and agents of their security and intelligence services were complicit in the CIA’s secret detention and extraordinary rendition programme, sometimes through corrupt means based on substantial amounts of money provided by the CIA in exchange for their cooperation", say MEPs in a resolution approved by 363 votes to 290, with 48 abstentions.

In the light of this new evidence, Parliament instructs its civil liberties, foreign affairs and human rights committees to resume their investigations into the alleged transportation and illegal detention of prisoners in EU countries by the CIA and to report to plenary within a year.

This inquiry would entail, for example, sending a parliamentary fact-finding mission to the EU countries where CIA secret detention sites allegedly existed and gathering all relevant information and evidence on possible bribes or other acts of corruption linked to the CIA programme.

Impunity must end

The climate of impunity surrounding the CIA programme has "enabled the continuation of fundamental rights violations", as further revealed by the mass surveillance programmes of the US National Security Agency (NSA) and secret services of various EU member states, MEPs say, stressing that "there can be no impunity" for these violations.

Parliament calls on the US to investigate and prosecute the multiple human rights violations resulting from the CIA programmes and to cooperate with all requests from EU countries for information, extradition or effective remedies for victims in connection with the CIA operations.

On the EU side, MEPs express their concerns about the obstacles encountered by national parliamentary and judicial investigations, the abuse of state secrecy, and the undue classification of documents resulting in the termination of criminal proceedings. They again ask member states to investigate the allegations that there were secret prisons on their territory and to prosecute those involved in the CIA-led operations.

Parliament condemns the "gruesome interrogation practices" used in the CIA's illegal counterterrorism operations. It also highlights the US Senate report’s "fundamental conclusion" that “the violent methods applied by the CIA failed to generate intelligence that prevented further terrorist attacks”.

Note to editors

The alleged use of European countries by the CIA for the transportation and illegal detention of prisoners was investigated by a European Parliament temporary committee set up in 2006.

MEPs have repeatedly called for full investigations into the collaboration of EU member states with the CIA’s secret detention and extraordinary rendition programme (links to previous EP resolutions to the right).

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