Sinn Féin - On Your Side

US President photo-opportunity at Shannon ill advised and completely inappropriate

1 March, 2006

Responding to President George Bush's surprise stop-over and photo shoot with US troops in Shannon Airport last night Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson on International Affairs, Aengus Ó Snodaigh, expressed his view that it was a completely inappropriate action to be facilitated by the Irish authorities, which he said sent out all the wrong signals in terms of our respect for both international law and human rights.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said  "The US military, the CIA and the ultimate Director of the so-called war on terror, President George Bush himself, have been given the run of Shannon airport by this government with no questions asked.  This is despite the fact that the United State's active Rendition Programme violates a range of fundamental human rights including the right to recognition as a person before the law; the right to liberty and security of person; the rights not to be subjected to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.  The Bush Administration's re-definition of torture and the recent UN report on Guantanamo Bay make the assurances from the US, that our own government is so happy to rely on, worthless.

"While it is Sinn Féin’s view, and indeed a view that is shared by the majority of Irish people, that US troops on their way to the Middle East and the war in Iraq should not be facilitated at Shannon or any other Irish airport it is completely inappropriate and ill-advised that the US President should be afforded a photo-opportunity with US troops at Shannon Airport by Irish Authorities.  This sends out all the wrong signals, especially in relation to our so-called respect for both international law and human rights. It should not be permitted to happen again."

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