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Irish Government must say what it know about latest allegations regarding illegal transport of prisoners

5 July, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has said that the 'position, role and facilities of peacekeeping missions must not be abused'.

Ms de Brún made her comments today as the European Parliament's Temporary Committee on the alleged use of European countries by the CIA for the transportation and illegal detention of prisoners presents its interim report.

Ms de Brún said said:

"In 2002, six Bosnian men of Algerian origin were sent to Guantanamo by the process of extraordinary rendition, where they remain until the present time.

"I 2002, cuireadh seisear fear Boisniach, arbh as an Ailgéir ó dhúchas iad, chuig Guantanamo tríd an phróiseas de ghluaiseacht éignithe neamhghnách, áit a bhfuil siad go dtí an lá atá inniu ann.

"They were taken from Camp Butmir, Headquarters of the NATO led Stabilisation Force (SFOR) in Bosnia. The men were handed over to US forces. They must be presumed innocent in any case, but their claim to innocence is strengthened by the fact that the Bosnian investigation into them was concluded after revealing no evidence linking them to Œterrorist threats‚.

"Measures need to be put in place to ensure that the position, role and facilities of peacekeeping missions are not abused.

"Toisc go raibh saighdiúirí na hÉireann ar dualgas ag Ceanncheathrú Forsaí Cobhsaíochta ag an am a tugadh iad ar láimh duine, d'éirigh seo ina ábhar buartha in Éirinn, ach go háirithe i ndiaidh líomhaintí faoi úsáid Aerfort na Sionainne d'eitiltí gluaiseachta éignithe.

"As Irish troops were serving at the Stabilisation Force Headquarters at the time of the hand over, this has caused great concern in Ireland, particularly following on from allegations about the use of Shannon Airport for rendition flights. Minister for Defence Willie O‚Dea has serious questions to answer regarding this latest incident and Ireland‚s role in the process of extraordinary rendition." ENDS

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