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Irish troops must have been aware of illegal renditions on their watch

22 June, 2006


Sinn Féin Human Rights and International Affairs spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has said that Irish troops serving as military police in Bosnia -- Herzigovina in 2002 must have been aware of an illegal rendition that took place there in January of that year. Deputy Ó Snodaigh raised this issue with the Minister for Defence Willie O'Dea in the Dáil today.

He said, "Nobody doubts that an illegal rendition took place at camp Butmir in Bosnia -- Herzigovina in January 2002. The Bosnian authorities have admitted breaking their own laws and handing over six Bosnian men of Algerian origin to US personnel at the base. Military police duties at the base at the time were the responsibility of the Irish defence forces.

"The Irish Defence Forces in their role as a military police unit would have been responsible for securing the camp including monitoring who comes onto the base and who leaves the base. They were also responsible for investigating internal abuses. Therefore, in my opinion Irish troops must have known about the illegal rendition of these six men.

"I am now calling for full disclosure of events as they happened. If Irish troops did not know about this rendition then they need to tell us when they found out, how they found out and why they failed to investigate." ENDS

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