European Parliament criticises failure to investigate CIA torture and renditions, calls for ‘transparent’ inquiry in UK

September 11, 2012

Today the European Parliament adopted by an overwhelming majority a new resolution condemning the role of European states in the CIA’s secret detention and torture programme.

The Parliament criticises member states for failing to fulfil their obligation to investigate serious human rights violations connected with the CIA programme, pointing out that previous investigations have been hampered by lack of transparency, prevalence of political interests, restriction of victims’ right to effective participation, and lack of rigorous investigative techniques.

In the wake of the abandonment of the UK’s Gibson Inquiry into the mistreatment of detainees in the ‘War on Terror’, the report “calls on the UK to conduct [a future] inquiry with due transparency, allowing the effective participation of victims and civil society.”

The Parliament calls on Romania and Lithuania, in particular, to reopen investigations in the light of new evidence produced by Reprieve. In Poland, where a prosecutorial investigation is still ongoing after several years, the Parliament has deplored the lack of official communication on the scope, conduct and state of play of the investigation.

Rapporteur Hélène Flautre MEP noted that until now, progress had been made difficult by a “miasma of secrecy, footdragging and obfuscation” in countries involved in the programme, but said she hoped that the Parliament would be able to assist in inspiring action.

Reprieve investigator Crofton Black said: “This comprehensive statement shows that Europe – including the UK – has failed to come to terms with its key role in the CIA’s programme of torture and rendition.  Countries including Britain, Romania and Lithuania have failed to carry out the necessary inquiries into the part they played in some of the worst human rights abuses of the war on terror.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. For further information, please contact Donald Campbell in Reprieve’s press office: +44 (0) 207 427 1082 / donald.campbell@reprieve.org.uk

2. More information on the new evidence produced by Reprieve on Romania’s and Lithuania’s involvement in the CIA programme can be found on Reprieve’s website:

http://reprieve.org.uk/press/2012_09_10_new_rendition_data_european_parliament

http://reprieve.org.uk/articles/CSCRomania

3. Regarding the UK Government’s Detainee Inquiry, initially established under Sir Peter Gibson before being halted in early 2012 in the face of criticisms over its lack of power and independence, the European Parliament today “Notes the criminal investigation launched in the UK on renditions to Libya, and welcomes the decision to continue the wider inquiry into the UK’s responsibility in the CIA programme once the investigation has been concluded; calls on the UK to conduct this inquiry with due transparency, allowing the effective participation of victims and civil society.”