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Government political cowardice on extraordinary renditions must end - Ferris

28 December, 2007

Responding to revelations that Sean Lemass authorised the searching of aircrafts passing through Shannon during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris has today said government must now acknowledge it can no longer seriously justify its refusal to search suspected extraordinary rendition flights passing through Irish airports.

Deputy Ferris said:

“In 1962 Sean Lemass authorised the searching of aircrafts suspected of carrying ‘implements of war and munitions’. What is now being transported on board aircrafts via Irish Airports is even graver as it involves the kidnapping of individuals by the CIA from an occupied state to be tortured and illegally detained in Europe and the US.

“There have been numerous reports from the Council of Europe, European Parliament and the Irish Human Rights Council all detailing the CIA practice of extraordinary rendition. This issue raises it head year after year yet still successive Fianna Fáil led governments insist on taking the US administrations ‘word’ that no such practice takes place in Irish airspace.

“This government’s lack of political courage, persistent erosion of Ireland’s independent foreign policy and flouting of the country’s international human rights obligations cannot continue.

“I am calling on government to end Ireland’s role in the CIA’s heinous practice of extraordinary rendition by immediately implementing a process of systematic inspections of suspect aircrafts using Irish airports.” CRÍOCH


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