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EU May Suspend Nations With Secret Prisons

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051128/ap_on_re_eu/eu_secret_prisons;_ylt=AnWtDp5UZkpCf3c8IAPEkEkUewgF;_ylu=X3oDMTA3b3JuZGZhBHNlYwM3MjE- EU May Suspend Nations
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 28, 2005

      EU May Suspend Nations With Secret Prisons

      By PAUL AMES, Associated Press Writer 8 minutes ago

      BERLIN - The United States has told the European Union
      it needs more time to respond to media reports that
      the CIA set up secret jails in some European nations
      and transported terror suspects by covert flights, the
      top EU justice official said Monday.

      Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Franco Frattini
      also warned that that any of the 25 bloc nations found
      to have operated secret CIA prisons could have their
      EU voting rights suspended.

      The Council of Europe — the continent's main human
      rights watchdog — is investigating the allegations,
      and EU justice official Jonathan Faul last week
      formally raised the issue with White House and U.S.
      State Department representatives, Frattini said.

      "They told him, 'give us the appropriate time to
      evaluate the situation.' Right now, there is no
      response," he said.

      The CIA has refused to comment on the European

      Frattini said suspending EU voting rights would be
      justified under the EU treaty, which stipulates that
      the bloc is founded on the principles of liberty,
      democracy, respect for human rights, fundamental
      freedoms and the rule of law, and that a persistent
      breach of these principles can be punished.

      Clandestine detention centers would violate the
      European Convention on Human Rights.

      Allegations that the CIA hid and interrogated key
      al-Qaida suspects at Soviet-era compounds in Eastern
      Europe were first reported Nov. 2 in The Washington
      Post. A day after the report appeared, Human Rights
      Watch said it had evidence indicating the CIA
      transported suspected terrorists captured in
      Afghanistan to Poland and Romania.

      Frattini said Romania's interior minister, Vasile
      Blaga, had assured him the allegations were untrue and
      that a base at Mihail Kogalniceanu — used by American
      forces from 2001-03 to transport troops and equipment
      to Afghanistan and
      Iraq — was not used as a detention center.

      "It is very, very important to get the truth. It is
      impossible to move only on the basis of allegations,"
      Frattini said.

      Reports of secret CIA flights followed the allegations
      of secret prisons, as more and more countries have
      decided to open investigations into the issue.
      Frattini said if the flights took place without the
      knowledge of local authorities, they would be
      violations of international aviation agreements.

      Other airports that might have been used by CIA
      aircraft in some capacity include Palma de Mallorca in
      Spain, Larnaca in Cyprus and Shannon in Ireland, as
      well as the U.S. air base at Ramstein, Germany, EU
      officials have said. Investigations into alleged CIA
      landings or fly overs have been launched in Austria,
      Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, and there have
      been unconfirmed reports in Macedonia and Malta.
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