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McDowell deal with US alarming and sinister

21 July, 2005

Sinn  Féin  TD  Seán  Crowe  has  described  as ‘alarming’ news that the Minister  for Justice, Michael McDowell has signed an agreement with the US  that allows for the detention and interrogation of people in Ireland by  US  secret service agents and that also allows agencies like the CIA access  to personal details including their bank accounts.  Deputy Crowe said  it  was a ‘particularly sinister development’ in relation to civil liberties and human rights in this State.

The  Dublin  South  West  TD  said,  “The signing of this agreement is a particularly  sinister and dangerous development for civil liberties and human  rights  in  this  State  and  indeed the sovereignty of the State itself.   It  is  absolutely  unacceptable that an organisation like the CIA, given the malevolent role it played in creating the war in Iraq and given  its  absolutely  appalling  record  in  relation  to  respect for international  law  and  human  rights,  should  be allowed by the Irish Government to conduct investigations and interrogations on Irish soil.

“This  is  not an agreement of ‘mutual assistance’ – this is all one way traffic.  It is designed to aid the USA's so-called war on terrorism – a war  that  has  already  seen the deaths of at least 25,000 civilians in Iraq, mostly at the hands of the US and British armed forces.

“The retrograde step that the US has taken in relation to protecting the rights  of  its  own  citizens  and  the erosion of fundamental freedoms following  9-11,  which  had  included  the internment of people without charge  or  access  to  a lawyer and the kidnapping of people from other jurisdictions  must  not be allowed to become part of the norm here.  It doesn’t  matter if other EU countries have signed up to this agreement –we  should not – and certainly not without a proper public debate on the issue.

“Michael  McDowell  has  already  claimed  he  is against a rights based society.  That claim takes on a much more alarming significance in light of this latest agreement he has signed.” ENDS

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