What are the values of our continent worth? - Council Of Europe investigator
|The Council of Europe's parliamentary assembly is scheduled to receive a preliminary report into US run torture camps on European soil and "extraordinary renditions"on January 23rd. This posting is a preliminary briefing for readers.|
* Senator Marty - Briefing
"If people are detained, transported and tortured without reference to the law, what are the values of our continent worth?"
In related news the EU parliamentary assembly and Irish unease over rendition flights continue to gather momentum.
Concerns grow in Ireland over use of Shannon airport as US military stopover
Saturday January 21, 2006
Irish politicians and human rights activists are voicing growing concern at the US military's use of Shannon airport after it emerged that an average of 900 soldiers a day passed through the commercial west coast airport last year.
Edward Horgan, a former Irish soldier* who served with UN peacekeeping missions for 22 years before leading a campaign against US military use of Shannon, said up to 100 peace activists had been prosecuted in Ireland since 2002.
After two retrials, Mary Kelly, an Irish nurse, was found guilty of criminal damage for taking an axe to a plane at Shannon. She plans to appeal. Five protesters accused of damaging another US plane at Shannon are awaiting their third trial after the second collapsed when defence lawyers suggested that the judge had been invited to both George Bush's presidential inaugurations and attended the first one in 2000. (Emphasis added.)
Full story here
Two Irish MEPs Eoin Ryan (FF) and Simon Coveney (FG) are taking part the EU special committee inquiry into CIA 'torture flights' and the allegations that some camps within the 'US gulag' are located on EU soil.
"It will investigate allegations about the transport and illegal detention of prisoners by the CIA in European countries.
The committee will try to establish if people were obtained or abducted from inside the European Union, if these people were tortured and whether countries were facilitating rendition flights."
(Belfast Telegraph) More coverage from the BBC here .
* Horgan rose to the rank of commandant. Like many Irish officers with experience as peacekeepers he opposes breaches of Ireland's neutrality and has recently testified before the Oireachtas (Irish Parliament) Committee on foreign affairs that Ireland is in breach of several of her convention obligations.
"Constitutionally, Ireland doesn't have to be neutral, but having publicly declared internationally that Ireland is neutral, we are obliged to comply with our neutrality obligations, the most basic one of which is that foreign troops on their way to war may not be allowed to pass through our territory."