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Council of Europe: Europe should stop renditions

Council of Europe calls on European countries to stop renditions

Amnesty International welcomes the strong, clear signal that the Council of Europe has sent to European governments and the USA in today's report. It makes clear that the renditions 'spider web' that the USA has woven outside the rule of law is "contrary to basic legal principles" -- involving as it does 'disappearances', arbitrary detention, illegal transfers and torture or other ill-treatment.

The report confirms Amnesty International's findings that several cases of rendition occurred with the involvement or co-operation of Council of Europe member states. It also provides additional information about the possible location of sites of secret detention in Romania and Poland. This puts the onus on the Romanian and Polish authorities to conduct thorough and independent investigations without any further delay.

The Council of Europe's recommendations echo Amnesty International's own calls. In particular, the USA and European states must put an end to renditions and must conduct independent and thorough investigations into the practice. They must ensure accountability of their own and foreign intelligence services.

Amnesty International also calls on the US and the states in Europe and any other states that have been implicated in renditions or held people in secret detention to ensure reparation to the victims of these grave human rights violations.

The disturbing facts gathered in Dick Marty's report underscore the need for states to respect and ensure human rights in any measures they take to prevent terrorism. Doing otherwise, as Dick Marty's report says, serves "to strengthen those who aim to destroy the established political, legal and social order".

As Dick Marty himself has suggested, the search for the truth about the rendition practice and secret detention cannot and should not end with the publication of his findings. The USA and European states must carry out thorough investigations and must provide full disclosure to the Council of Europe and EU Parliament.

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