Press Release: Office of Jean Lambert MEP

23rd January 2007

 

GOVERNMENTS MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO IGNORE 'HEADACHE' OF CIA ABUSES WARNS UK GREEN MEP


The European Parliament's Committee of Inquiry into the CIA abuses across Europe passed their final report today by a significant majority of 28 to 17.

Speaking after the vote UK Green MEP Jean Lambert , who sits on the Committee of Inquiry into the Extraordinary Rendition Flights and has been awarded for her work on Justice and Human Rights, welcomed the report and commented; "Over the past year the European Parliament's CIA Inquiry has brought to light evidence confirming that the CIA used Europe as a stomping ground for illegally abducting and transporting civilians in the context of the US 'war on terror'.

"I welcome that, despite the efforts of some MEPs to muzzle the report, it is open in its criticism of specific Member States, detailing some of these human rights abuses and pointing to the complicity of EU Governments, either actively or passively in this process.

"The report is seriously critical of the role of the UK in this murky saga, not only the fact that there were 170 stopovers by CIA flights in the UK but also that the UK Government failed to co-operate fully with the Committee and also refused consular services to residents that were detained.

"Many Member State Governments have treated this inquiry like an unwanted headache and hoped that by keeping quiet or refusing to co-operate with the investigation the ache would go away. The lack of cooperation with the Committee, both by Member States and the Council, is an indictment of their complicity in the illegal CIA activities.

"While the adoption of this report marks the end of the CIA Committees activities, it can not be the end of the process aimed to uncover these abuses and prevent a similar situation occurring in the future. The UK Government now has a responsibility to take this forward and continue this serious investigation."

The report will now go to a full vote of the EU Parliament in February and the Committee of Inquiry has called on the European Council to start an independent investigation and impose sanctions on Member States whose role in these human rights abuses are confirmed.

ENDS

For more information please contact:
Morwenna Holland, Media Officer
tel: 020 7407 6280 or 07813149812
email: media@jeanlambertmep.org.uk
www.jeanlambertmep.org.uk

Notes to editors:
Jean Lambert: In October 2005 Jean was named MEP 2005 for Justice and Human Rights. Jean was first elected Green Party Member of the European Parliament for London in the 1999 European elections. She was re-elected in 2004. She is one of nine MEPs representing London and one of two UK Green representatives in the European Parliament.