Saturday, February 25, 2006

More European complicity on rendition

It's not just the British government who are turning a blind eye on rendition. According to UPI, the EU agreed in 2003 to allow the US to use its airspace to transport prisoners - and then tried to cover it up:

Documents obtained by British civil liberties group Statewatch show that at a high-level meeting of European and American justice officials in Athens on Jan. 22, 2003, the two sides agreed on the "increased use of European transit facilities to support the return of criminal/inadmissible aliens."

This crucial phrase was deleted from the minutes of the meeting made available on the Web site of the Council of Ministers, the body that represents EU governments in Brussels. A spokesman for the council told Statewatch the deletions were made out of "courtesy" for the United States.

Because of course it would be rude for the EU to adhere to the basic tenants of democracy and tell its citizens what is being agreed in their name.

Meanwhile, five members have defied the Council of Europe's call for information on how they are acting to prevent renditions from or through their territory: Belgium, Bosnia, Georgia, Italy and San Marino. In the latter case, it's probably due to not having anything to say; San Marino doesn't have an airport. In the others, its downright suspicious. What are these countries trying to hide?