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 Irish Government need to tell the people if state has in any way facilitated illegal CIA flights

18 May, 2006


Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today called upon the Irish Government ‘to state definitively whether or not they facilitated the illegal transport of prisoners or aided the CIA agents involved in any way.’

Ms de Brún made her comments after a European Parliament Committee tasked to investigate allegations of US kidnappings and secret prison camps reported that a CIA source claimed that between 30 and 50 people have been subjected to this illegal practice.

 

Speaking today Ms de Brún said:

 

“Given the revelations that a number of people have been transferred through 'extraordinary rendition' in the EU and North Africa where people are illegally imprisoned and moved to torture centres in third countries, it is essential that the Irish Government state definitively whether or not they in any way aided or facilitated this process.

 

“There has been increasing speculation for many months that a number of European countries have allowed their airport facilities to be used by the CIA for the illegal transport of prisoners to third countries. Indeed, the European Parliament saw fit to set up a committee to investigate such allegations.

 

“The CIA officials who have confirmed the existence of such practices have stressed that in order for these rendition flights to take place would have required the complicity of European Governments. On the basis of this information, Minister for Justice Michael McDowell should give a full and frank account of whatever he may know in relation to this matter. Serious concerns have been raised by a number of human rights organisations that Shannon Airport may have been used to facilitate planes either after or before they embarked upon alleged kidnapping missions.

 

“Not only is the principle of Irish neutrality at stake in this issue, but the fundamental human rights of those who are alleged to have been transported to third countries are also at risk. This is too serious an issue for the Irish Government to remain silent on.” ENDS

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