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Irish Government must establish independent inquiry into extraordinary rendition revelations

30 November, 2006


Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has challenged the Irish government to 'establish a thorough independent inquiry into Ireland's role in the illegal process of extraordinary rendition.'

Ms de Brún was speaking before Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern is due to attend a European Parliament Temporary Committee established to investigate extraordinary rendition flights across the EU.

Ms de Brún said: "After months of hand-washing and denials regarding Ireland's role in the process of extraordinary renditions, it has emerged that Ireland is one of eleven EU Member States cited for their involvement in the illegal transport and detention of prisoners by the CIA.

"This Government have told us that they are opposed to extraordinary rendition, so why allow CIA planes which are either returning from or about to carry out an illegal act, sanctuary to refuel in Ireland?

"Minister Ahern has much explaining to do at today's committee meeting. Will he continue to shrug off these initial findings or will he begin to address the concerns of very many people who are opposed to a process where non convicted prisoners are illegally transported, detained and in some cases tortured in third countries?

"I am calling upon Minister Ahern today to give a guarantee that he will support the establishment of a thorough independent inquiry into Ireland's role in the illegal process of extraordinary rendition -- this is too serious an issue to be simply swept under the carpet.

"Guarantees from US officials that CIA planes are not using Ireland as a staging post for extraordinary renditions are not good enough. We need to see all suspicious military flights connected with the CIA and the United States military grounded until a thorough independent investigation is carried out. This is the least we should expect given these latest revelations."

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