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Dublin Opinion >>
Extraordinary Rendition, Torture and Amnesty
anti-war / imperialism |
Wednesday April 05, 2006 11:42 by Seán Ryan
Amnesty International has brought the investigation into Extraordinary rendition and torture a step further. In the early hours of this morning it released a report titled:
"UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Below the radar: Secret flights
to torture and 'disappearance’"
Shannon Warport is shown in a new light.
A damning report issued by Amnesty International this morning has provided harrowing testemony and evidence about the crimes against humanity, commonly referred to as torture and extraordinary rendition.
Amnesty has called on all Governments to take heed of the following:
- Do not render or otherwise transfer to the custody of another state anyone suspected or accused of security offences unless the transfer is carried out under judicial supervision and in full observance of due legal process.
- Ensure that anyone subject to transfer has the right to challenge its legality before an independent tribunal, and that they have access to an independent lawyer and an effective right of appeal.
- Do not receive into custody anyone suspected or accused of security offences unless the transfer is carried out under judicial supervision and in full observance of due legal process.
- Information on the numbers, nationalities and current whereabouts of all terror suspects rendered, extradited or otherwise transferred into custody from abroad should be publicly available. Full personal details should be promptly supplied to the families and lawyers of the detainees, and to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
- Bring all such detainees before a judicial authority within 24 hours of entry into custody.
- Ensure that detainees have prompt access to legal counsel and to family members, and that lawyers and family members are kept informed of the detainee’s whereabouts.
- Ensure that detainees who are not nationals of the detaining country have access to diplomatic or other representatives of their country of nationality or former habitual residence.
No ‘disappearances’, no secret detention
- End immediately the practices of incommunicado and secret detention wherever and under whatever agency it occurs.
- Hold detainees only in officially recognized places of detention with access to family, legal counsel and courts.
- Ensure that those responsible for "disappearances" are brought to justice, and that victims and families receive restitution, compensation and rehabilitation.
- Investigate any allegations that their territory hosts or has hosted secret detention facilities, and make public the results of such investigations.
No torture or other ill-treatment
- Ensure that interrogations are carried out in accordance with international standards, in particular without any use of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
- Investigate all complaints and reports of torture or other ill-treatment promptly, impartially and effectively, using an agency independent of the alleged perpetrators, and ensure that anyone found responsible is brought to justice.
- Ensure that victims of torture obtain prompt reparation from the state including restitution, fair and adequate financial compensation and appropriate medical care and rehabilitation.
No diplomatic assurances
- Prohibit the return or transfer of people to places where they are at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.
- Do not require or accept "diplomatic assurances" or similar bilateral agreements to justify renditions or any other form of involuntary transfers of individuals to countries where there is a risk of torture or other ill-treatment.
No renditions flights
- Identify to the aviation authorities any plane or helicopter used to carry out the missions of the intelligence services as a state aircraft, even if the aircraft in question is chartered from a private company.
- Ensure that airports and airspace are not used to support and facilitate renditions or rendition flights.
- Maintain and update a register of aircraft operators whose planes have been implicated in rendition flights, and require them to provide detailed information before allowing them landing or flyover rights. Such information should include: the full flight plan of the aircraft, including onward stops and full itinerary, the full names and nationalities of all passengers on board, and the purposes of their travel.
- If any passengers are listed as prisoners or detainees, more detailed information about their status and the status of their flight should be required, including their destination and the legal basis for their transfer.
- Refuse access to airspace and airfields if requested information is not provided.
- If there are grounds to believe that an aircraft is being used in connection with renditions or other human rights violations, board the plane or require it to land for inspection.
- If such inspection indicates that the flight is being used for the unlawful transfer of people, or other human rights violations, the flight should be held until the lawfulness or otherwise of its purpose can be established, and appropriate law enforcement action taken.
Additional recommendations to the US government:
- Ensure that anyone held in US custody in any part of the world can exercise the right to legal representation and to a fair and transparent legal process;
- Disclose the location and status of the detention centres where Muhammad Abdullah Salah al-Assad, Muhammad Faraj Ahmed Bashmilah and Salah Nasser Salim ‘Ali Qaru were held between October 2003 and May 2005;
- Disclose the identities and whereabouts of all others held in secret locations and their legal status, and invite the ICRC to have full and regular access to all those detained;
- Release all detainees in US custody at undisclosed locations unless they are to be charged with internationally recognizable criminal offences and brought to trial promptly and fairly, in full accordance with relevant international standards, and without recourse to the death penalty;
- Promptly and thoroughly investigate all allegations of "disappearance", and bring those suspected of having committed, ordered or authorized a "disappearance" before the competent civil authorities for prosecution and trial.
Recommendations to private aircraft operators and leasing agents:
- Ensure that the company is aware of the end use of any aircraft it is leasing or operating;
- Do not lease or otherwise allow the operation of any aircraft where there is reason to believe it might be used in human rights violations, including rendition or associated operations;
- Develop an explicit human rights policy, ensuring that it complies with the UN Norms on the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Regard to Human Rights.
Amnesty has investigated the claims and charges of many people who were kidnapped on American orders or indeed by the Americans themselves. Many harrowing accounts are given and a good picture is built up of the American rendition strategy. According to Amnesty it appears to be American policy to render people moreso to keep them 'off the streets' than to track and punish legitimate terrorists.
Shannon Airport gets quite a few mentions. The details of the flights of 4 CIA torture/rendition planes are given.
First plane mentioned.
1. N 313P-N4476S
N313P-N4476S is a Boeing 737-7ET (BBJ) aircraft (m/n 33010) for which there are 396 recorded landings or taking offs between 22 November 2002 and 8 September 2005. Flight records show that it was the plane that took Khaled el-Masri from Skopje to Afghanistan in January 2004, and Human Rights Watch has identified it as the "plane that the CIA used to move several prisoners to and from Europe, Afghanistan, and the Middle East in 2003 and 2004 – it landed in Poland and Romania on direct flights from Afghanistan on two occasions in 2003 and 2004.
The table associated with this plane shows that second only in frequency of usage to Germany with 73 passages through Frankfurt Airport was Shannon Warport with 23 passages through it.
For plane 2. N379P-N8068V-N44982
We are third lagging behind Frankfurt with 70 passages and Prestwick in England with 36 - we had 22
The final plane is the most frightening.
Plane 4 - N85VM-N227SV.
This time we are second in the frequency of passages throught the airport. This plane has passed through Shannon 30 times. The most frequented landing strip by this plane is the landing strip in Guantánamo Bay US Naval Air Station, Cuba. This plane had 114 passages through this particular hellhole.
Despite all this evidence. American military still use Shannon and possibly other Irish sites to carry the war machince forwards and very probably use it/them to carry their victims backwards.
Bertie et al must be very proud of themselves.
Related link:- http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/ENGAMR510512006