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Glasgow rendition flights vigil
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Sunday June 25, 2006 18:55 by M R Scotland
A vigil has taken place this weekend at Glasgow Airport to highlight "extraordinary rendition" flights.
Held on Saturday afternoon, the event was part of a large number taking place nationwide, organised and supported by a variety of individuals, local groups and campaigns including the Stop the War Coalition and Scotland Against Criminalising Communities, and was attended by a number of leading peace activists, including Rose Gentle and Chairperson of Glasgow Stop the War coalition, Nicola Fisher.
Vigils also took place at Edinburgh, Prestwick, Birmingham and Gatwick Airports. An event was also staged in the capital on Sunday outside the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square, London by human rights body Liberty.
Several airports across the UK, have allegedly been used by the US government for "extraordinary renditions", the secret and illegal detention and transportation of people around the world by the CIA for 'interrogation' in countries and other regimes where torture is practiced. Steeped in controversy, rendition flights have been the subject of increasing international scrutiny and investigation, as well as mounting concern, and have been condemned by many civil liberties organisations around the world, including Liberty and Amnesty International.
A damning Council of Europe investigation into the practice published earlier this month, and due to be debated by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on Tuesday, documents a "global spiders web" of illegal activity.
The UK Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights concluded last month that Westminster was failing to adequately investigate the matter. Here in Scotland, Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson, the police and the Scottish Executive have been accused of evasiveness and repeatedly rejecting demands to become involved on the issue, although their stance has changed slightly following this years Scottish Labour Party conference, which called for an end to the flights.
Referred to by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, as a long overdue day to remember and pay our respects to "those who have endured the unimaginable", tomorrow marks the launch of the United Nation's International Day in Support of the Victims of Torture.