As the European Parliament officially endorsed a temporary committee to investigate the CIA 'extraordinary rendition flights' today, Green MEP Jean Lambert welcomed the decision and urged the committee to unearth the truth about what happened.
Jean, who is a member of the European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee and was named MEP 2005 for Justice and Human Rights at the end of last year, was pleased the committee had been endorsed and said; "The Committee of Inquiry into the allegations of the transport and illegal detention of prisoners by the CIA in European Countries will provide us with much needed answers. We need to know what happened and why, in order to ensure this never takes place again.
"If the secret services have been aiding the movement of CIA prisoners there are people who will know, or should know, what has been going on and chose not to act. In order to uphold high standards of human rights, and trust the government to protect us again, we need to make sure that these people are identified and removed from position."
The cross party committee of 46 MEPs will be approved tomorrow (19th January 2006). It will investigate two questions in particular that lie at the heart of the committee; Do CIA detention centres exist in Europe and has the CIA been using European airports to transport terrorist suspects to places where they could face torture. The Committee will also investigate if EU citizens have been involved and whether European governments knew about the alleged practices.
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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.
Committee of Inquiry: The Conference of Presidents states that the temporary committee will liase and cooperate "as closely as possible" with inter alia, the Council of Europe, the European Commissioner responsible for human rights, the UN Commissioner for Human Rights and with national parliaments. It also states the committee should submit an interim report within four months after it starts work.