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category clare | eu | other press author Tuesday November 28, 2006 19:15author by anon Report this post to the editors

Dermot to obstruct truth in Brussels on Thursday

A draft European Parliament report into alleged CIA rendition flights has expressed 'serious concerns' over the 147 stopovers made by CIA-operated aircraft at Irish airports.

The report says these aircraft were on many occasions coming from, or en route to, countries linked with 'extraordinary rendition' and the transfer of alleged terrorism suspects or detainees.

It also claims that CIA linked aircraft which had stopped off in Ireland had 'certainly been used for the extraordinary renditions' of nine named individuals.


Working documents on companies involved

Guilty or Innocent Who cares?

Afghanistan, Kabul: 3 flights
N85VM: Kabul- Shannon, 17.12.2003
N85VM: Shannon- Kabul, 13.08.2004
N478GS: Shannon- via Bucharest- Bagram, 04-05.12.2004
Jordan, Amman: 8 flights
N313P: Amman- Shannon, 04.03.2004
N313P: Amman- Shannon, 27.04.2004
N313P: Amman- Shannon, 10.05.2004
N313P: Shannon- Amman, 03.06.2004
N313P: Amman- Shannon, 01.08.2004
N85VM: Shannon- via Larnaca, Cyprus- Amman, 05-06.12.2002
N379P: Amman- Shannon, 01.08.2002
N379P: Amman- Shannon, 09.11.2002
Baku, Azerbaijan: 3 flights
N85VM: Baku- Shannon, 28.04.2004
N85VM: Baku- Shannon, 15.08.2004
N475LC: Baku- Shannon, 11.12.2005
Egypt, Cairo, El Sheikh: 10 flights
N85VM: Cairo- Shannon, 18.02.2003
N85VM: Shannnon- El Sheikh, 26.04.2004
N478GS: Shannon- Cairo, 07.10.2003
N478GS: Cairo- Shannon, 16.10.2003
N478GS: Shannon- Cairo, 22.10.2003
N478GS: Cairo- Shannon, 31.10.2003
N478GS: Luxor- Shannon, 09.12.2003
N478GS: Luxor- Shannon, 21.01.2004
N478GS: Hurghada- Shannon, 07.03.2004
N478GS: Shannon- Hurghada, 19.11.2004
Rabat, Morocco: 2 flights
N379P: Rabbat- Shannon, 22.07.2002
N379P: Rabat- Shannon, 18.09.2002
Baghdad, Iraq: 2 flights
N313P: Baghdad- Shannon, 14.12.2003
N379P: Shannon- via Larnaca, Cyprus- Baghdad, 20-21.01.2004

author by tomeilepublication date Tue Nov 28, 2006 19:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Today's European parliament report into CIA rendition flights has expressed serious concerns over the 152 flights that have passed through Shannon Airport

author by Margaretpublication date Tue Nov 28, 2006 21:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It can be difficult to navigate the vast collection websites relating to the EU and the EU parliament, so here’s a brief overview and some links for those who want to find out more.

The report in question is from a European Parliamentary committee - the “Temporary Committee on the alleged use of European countries by the CIA for the transportation and illegal detention of prisoners”. They started holding meetings on 29 January, 2006. The website is here: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/comparl/tempcom/tdip/defa...n.htm

A list is given below of some of the people who have made presentation to this committee. Our own Edward Horgan is included – he presented a report in April which detailed not only the use of Shannon airport by CIA planes known to have been involved in rendition flights, but the government’s breaches of Ireland’s obligations as a neutral state under the Hague Convention, of the UN Convention against Torture and of Irish legislation that incorporates the Convention against Torture.

Interestingly, only about 3 or 4 European foreign ministers have been called before this committee. Dermot Ahern is one of these. He is appearing at Thursday’s meeting (30/11/2006)

Irish MEPs sitting on the committee are:
Simon Coveney Fine Gael
Eoin Ryan Fianna Fail
Proinsias De Rossa Labour

On the day Edward Horgan presented his evidence to the committee (which included detailed flight logs) Eoin Ryan also appeared on the RTE news to refute all claims that Shannon airport was being used to transport prisoners.

Simon Coveney will participate in a radio show on Clare FM tomorrow (Wednesday) morning on the subject and will more than likely claim in Willie O Dea’s words that “nothing furtive is going on at Shannon”. Tune in at 10.30am on 96.4 FM.

The reports continue to mount and they continue to ignore the findings of not only of the human rights and watchdog organizations, but of the very Parliament in which they represent the Irish people.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Reports and relevant documents from this Committee

Working documents
Number 2: “On a chronology of events” http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/2004_2009/docume...n.pdf
Number 3: ““On the victims”
Number 4: ““On the flights operated by the CIA in Europe”
Number 5: ““On the testimony by Craig Murray,former British Ambassador”

Interim Report (June, 2006)

Current report (Nov, 2006)

These related reports were also published this year during the time this committee was sitting.

Amnesty “Below the Radar” report: http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGAMR510512006 and http://www.amnesty.org/resources/flash/torture/renditions/

Council of Europe report:
“Alleged secret detentions in Council of Europe member

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
So where did this committee get the evidence for these reports?
Make up your own mind on who to believe - Eoin Ryan, Fianna Fail, James Kenny, the US government..... or the following people?

Official EU, UN, and Irish presentations
Dick MARTY -President of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, rapporteur on alleged secret detentions in Council of Europe member states
Terry DAVIS, Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Alvaro GIL-ROBLES, the Council of Europe former Commissioner for Human Rights
Manfred NOWAK, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture
Martin SCHEININ, the UN ’s Special Rapporteur for promotion and protection of Human Rights while countering terrorism

Craig MURRAY, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan
Edward HORGAN, former UN peacekeeper and former officer of the Irish Army
Dr.Maurice MANNING, President of the Irish Human Rights Commission

Prosecutor Armando SPATARO ,Milan (Italy)
Generale Nicolň POLLARI ,Director of the Italian Intelligence and Security Services

Human Rights Organisations
Amnesty International
Human Rights Watch

Alleged victims of extraordinary rendition (and lawyers)
Khaled EL MASRI (German citizen),
Munich prosecutor Martin Hofmann (Germany)in charge of the El-Masri case
Maher ARAR (Canadian citizen)
Kjell JÖNSSON, lawyer of EL-ZARY (Egyptian citizen)
Gül PINAR, lawyer of Mohammed Zammars Family
Francesca LONGHI,lawyer of Abou Elkassim Britel,Italian citizen
Montasser AL ZAYAT, expert on renditions,former lawyer of Abu Omar
lawyer of Mr.Murat Kurnaz and Murat KURNAZ,victim of extraordinary renditions
Stephen H.OLESKEY, Counsel for Six Citizens and Former Residents of Bosnia and Herzegovina Imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay

Stephen GREY, from New York Times (USA),correspondent in London
Guido OLIMPIO, Il corriere della sera (Italy)
Paolo BIONDANI, Il corriere della sera (Italy)
Matías VALLÉS, ("Diario de Mallorca")
Carlo BONINI, "La Repubblica",Italy

author by Mary Kellypublication date Tue Nov 28, 2006 21:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

and thanks for compiling all this work. Please keep us informed how Dermot Ahern performs.

author by anonpublication date Tue Nov 28, 2006 21:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The European Parliament in its final report on alleged CIA kidnappings and prisons in Europe is set to name and shame 11 EU member states with Poland coming in for some of the heaviest criticism, Polish press agency PAP reveals ahead of the study's Wednesday (29 November) publication date.

Italy, the UK, Germany, Sweden and Austria saw terrorism suspects snatched on their territory the report by Italian socialist MEP Claudio Fava will say, while the UK, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Romania and Poland hosted hundreds of secret CIA flights.

The density of the flights - suspected of being used for "extraordinary renditions" or transfer of prisoners without trial or legal redress to sites such as Guantanamo Bay or Uzbekistan - was the greatest in Germany (336), the UK (170) and Ireland (147).

author by anonpublication date Tue Nov 28, 2006 23:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The plane used by the CIA to transport the Egyptian cleric Abu Omar after he was kidnapped from a street in Milan in February 2003, stopped over in Shannon the next day on its return to Washington, according to Euro-control records provided to the European Parliament.

Mr Omar was kidnapped on February 17th 2003 in Milan and brought to Egypt. The plane used in that operation, a Gulfstream jet with the flight number N85VM, landed in Shannon on February 18 thon its return journey to Washington. It remained in Shannon for a full 24 hours.

In the last week thes head of both the military intelligences in Italy has been sacked over their involvment and cover-up of kidnap and torture of Abu Omar who was actually wanted by Italy. A judge put out a warrent for the CIA agents involved in his kidnap some who would have been in Shannon the next day, although Ahern would have put his blinkers on for anything the US does. The 26 are already the subject of a Europe-wide arrest warrant. So if they passed through now? Who knows what Ahern would do.

Italy sacks spy chief suspected in CIA kidnapping

MEPs to shame 11 EU states in final CIA report

author by Damopublication date Wed Nov 29, 2006 09:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Some Indymedia links to stories re. CIA Rendition Flights:

Tim Hourigan's excellent reports on clandestine activity at Shannon Airport

Shannon, Torture, Troops and Timebombs December 1st '05

Also, remember this?

U.S Marine in shackles discoverd in Shannon Airport. Friday, June 16th '06

The following is reported in today's Irish Examiner. Link to full story below.

Government fury over EU report on CIA flights

By Ann Cahill and Harry McGee

THE GOVERNMENT reacted furiously last night to a European Parliament draft report which criticised its failure to investigate 147 CIA-operated flights that passed through Shannon Airport.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern was described by his spokesman as “absolutely livid with the behaviour of the EU (parliamentary) committee and the bizarre timing of its preliminary report”.

Full story here:


author by anonpublication date Wed Nov 29, 2006 16:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Again just like Dermot Ahern has said many times in the Dail the final word is always not that we're not involved but if you were in the Irish government you'd have to lie about it and allow it too.

"Listen very carefully to this, If I were to reject solemn and unequivacal word of three senior American officials and to disbelive them it would be a very serious step indeed."


McDowell: 'Irish airports not used for illegal purposes' Tell that to Kofi Annan.

Opposition politicians say it doesn't matter whether prisoners were on board the CIA flights as the very fact that they passed through Ireland makes the country part of the logistical back-up for the illegal rendition scheme.

Shannon still a staging post of the US war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

author by protesterpublication date Wed Nov 29, 2006 16:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

great time to turn up the heat with a non violent protest people at shannon!!!

The publicity would be very good

author by anonpublication date Thu Nov 30, 2006 13:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

More info on fights logs published by Stephen Grey on his Ghostplane book site



author by Republicanpublication date Thu Nov 30, 2006 14:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There is no evidence of rendition through Ireland.

Further does anyone believe that FG/Labour would be different?

author by anonpublication date Thu Nov 30, 2006 16:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors


THE Government has paid out more than €5m of taxpayers' money in the past three years to cover costs incurred in shuttling US troops through Irish airspace.

Figures obtained by the Irish Independent reveal that the State paid out €5,186,303 to cover air traffic control services racked up by Pentagon-chartered aircraft overflying the country since 2004.

Commercial aircraft are levied these communications charges, but the Irish Aviation Authority does not bill carriers involved in military-related duties. Such fees are waived by the Government, leaving the taxpayer to pick up the tab.

The pan-European air navigation body Eurocontrol, to which the IAA is affiliated, collects the fees on behalf of its members. However, a spokeswoman for Eurocontrol said a country could opt out of applying charges on certain grounds, such as for military traffic.

"That is bound by bilateral agreement between the states," she said.

A spokeswoman for the IAA said the practice of Ireland waiving air traffic control fees for military traffic was "reciprocated across Europe. Most governments do it."

However, it is understood that Austria, Switzerland, Finland and Moldova do not waive such charges.

The majority of Pentagon-chartered planes crossing the Atlantic stop off at Shannon airport. A total of 1,665 such planes passed through the facility this year, either landing to refuel or for other technical reasons.

The aircraft carried 250,220 US army personnel, mostly travelling onwards to Iraq and Afghanistan to engage in the "War on Terror".

author by anonpublication date Thu Nov 30, 2006 19:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Of course Berite was just using verbose and evasive language to try and undermine the seriousness of the acussation of state kidnap and torture but it does go to show Berties attitude to Bush, while the rest of the world thinks he's the greatest threat to world peace beyond any other tyrant he reckons he's The Great president.


TAOISEACH Bertie Ahern last night insisted he got face-to-face assurances from US President George Bush that no prisoners are being illegally transported through Ireland.In an unequivocal attempt to draw a line under the simmering controversy, Mr Ahern gave a frank outline of high-level exchanges with Mr Bush.He said he raised the question with him in Washington in March."I was not going to be in the position that I was in the Oval Room and didn't ask the question," he said after addressing the European Parliament.

"I was sat closer to him than you are now and I looked at the
great President Bush and said to him I wanted 'to be sure to be sure' and he assured me," Mr Ahern said. He claimed Ireland was the only country to get such an express, unequivocal assurance.He said he could never rule out that the planes might at some time have been used in 'extraordinary rendition' flights but they had not been while in Ireland. "We asked had they ever used Ireland as a base, as a hub, as a destination and the answer to that categorically was No."

"Of all the flights there were only three that could possibly - possibly - had that flight path." But he promised to look at some of its recommendations in terms of improving European aviation regulation.The report for the European Parliament outlines "serious concerns" at 147 stopovers by CIA flights at Irish airports.

It claims that the aircraft concerned were involved in the rendition of several terrorist suspects but it does not produce any evidence demonstrating that suspects were actually transported through Irish airports.

Oh so there could have been some now, which ones were then since the EU and the CoE are both trying to investigate and find out about these crimes against humanity conducted by CIA and _any_ information on flights paths would be helpful.

Tanaiste and Justice Minister Michael McDowell and Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern insisted that no one had yet produced any evidence to show that prisoners were transported through this country.Mr McDowell said there was no basis for a claim by Sinn Fein's Caoimhghin O Caolain that the Government had given carte blanche to the CIA to use Irish airports.Mr McDowell said the gardai had investigated information about a number of alleged incidents and found them to be without substance.

But Mr de Rossa maintained there was no evidence of prisoners being on the flights because none of the flights was ever inspected in Ireland. He claimed that Knock was one of four Irish airports used by CIA rendition flights, with one flight through Knock, one through Cork, seven through Dublin, including Baldonnel, and 138 through Shannon.

McDowell Quoted Maurice Manning our Commisioner for Human Rights saying he had found no 'smoking gun'.
Maurice Manning's actual words were.

We told the Committee that we did not have a “smoking gun” as a means of explaining to it that we were not there to give evidence about stopovers but rather to give our legal analysis of the human rights obligations on the State in regard to this issue.First, that under our domestic and international human rights obligations, the State has a duty to inspect flights suspected of involvement in rendition operations.

ie Its not up to us its up to you. The Goverment has just repeated its denial so we'll repeat the laws as they actually stand.

The primary focus of the Commission at that stage was on the preventative aspect of the guarantee against torture,inhuman or degrading treatment enshrined in the United Nations Convention against Torture and also implicit in Article 3 of the ECHR. Based in particular on the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, the Irish Commission took the view that the State should conduct an official investigation where an arguable claim is raised that a breach of Article 3 of the Convention is being committed by third parties (which in our view includes agents of a foreign state) within the jurisdiction of the state. The principle of non-refoulement inevitably requires that such an investigation also takes places where the state’s territory is being used to facilitate the transportation of any person to a places where there is a risk of ill-treatment in violation of Article 3. In that resolution, we also indicated our view that diplomatic assurances were not in themselves sufficient to fulfil a state’s obligations to guard against torture or ill-treatment. This view was based, in particular, on the decision of the Committee Against Torture in the case of Agiza v Sweden, the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in Chahal v United Kingdom and the views of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture in his August 2005 report to the UN Commission on Human Rights.

author by Margaretpublication date Fri Dec 01, 2006 17:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Irish Examiner reports today on Dermot Ahern's meeting with this European Paliamentary committee as "over two hours of often bad-tempered questioning and answers".

Ahern indicated that a plane refered to here as the "Guantanano Express" has been banned from Irish airports. I'm guessing that this is N379P, later registered as N8068V and later again as N44982. However, Ahern "refused to hold an independent investigation into the use of Shannon and other airports by CIA rendition planes, saying he relied on assurances he received from the Bush administration".
Has anyone heard of this ban before? It is clear that this is not the only airplane in question from previous reports on Indymedia. The Amnesty report "Below the Radar" listed above, gives a run down of the planes involved and how often they have landed at Shannon airport.

Todays article:

Ban on CIA’s ‘Guantanamo Express’ from Irish airports

By Ann Cahill, Europe Correspondent

THE plane sometimes referred to as the ‘Guantanamo Express’, used by the CIA to transport kidnapped suspects to secret jails, has been banned from landing at Irish airports in future, Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern told a European Parliament committee.

The plane landed at Shannon after taking Abu Omar from Germany to Egypt on February 17, 2003, where he is still being held incommunicado and tortured, according to the committee’s report.

However, Mr Ahern refused to hold an independent investigation into the use of Shannon and other airports by CIA rendition planes, saying he relied on assurances he received from the Bush administration.

He said he raised the issue with the US in 2004, a year before the Washington Post exposed the renditions and secret jails.

“The United States has stated authoritatively to us that prisoners have not been transferred through Irish territory, nor would they be without our permission,” he said.

These assurances were not legally binding and had not been got in writing, but they were noted at the time, he said.

He was the second EU government minister to give evidence to the European Parliament’s temporary committee investigating the use of European countries by the CIA for the transport and illegal detention of prisoners.

Over two hours of often bad-tempered questioning and answers, he told MEPs the Government had no power to inspect flights landing at Irish airports, as this was the job of the gardaí.

Afterwards, furious MEPs insisted the evidence showed that the ‘Guantanamo Express’ stopped over at Shannon directly after the so-called rendition.

“It is indisputable that it landed at Shannon en route,” said Proinsias De Rossa, Dublin MEP and a member of the committee.

“There were clearly 147 suspect flights through Ireland.”

Related Link: http://www.irishexaminer.com/irishexaminer/pages/story.aspx-qqqg=ireland-qqqm=ireland-qqqa=ireland-q
author by Mpublication date Fri Dec 01, 2006 18:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Today's editorial in the Irish Examiner gives an overview of the report and what it calls the government "nod and wink" policy.

"Back in the real world, the dogs in the road know the EU is right on this one. "

Related Link: http://www.irishexaminer.com/irishexaminer/pages/story.aspx-qqqg=opinion-qqqm=opinion-qqqa=general-q
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