More judicial challenges to CIA ‘rendition’ programme

Posted in civil liberties, politics, reports, security, trends by thenextwavefutures on 9 June, 2007

The indefatigable civil rights lawyer Clive Stafford-Smith is suing the company which provided the logistics for the CIA’s ‘rendition’ flights. At the same time, there’s a judicial challenge in Europe from the Council of Europe, which has produced a second report substantiating complicity by European governments in the rendition programme.

Clive Stafford-Smith’s organisation Reprieve is suing aviation transport company Jeppeson Dataplan on behalf of one current Guatanamo, and two former, prisoners who were moved to other jurisdictions on the company’s flights, where, it alleges, they were tortured.

The firm’s response (this is a quote from a Guardian story) seems to be not a million miles away from the sort of things that the Reichsbahn later said about the camp transports:

“Jeppesen’s customers have the reasonable expectation that the services they receive from Jeppesen remain confidential. Therefore, we do not identify customers or talk about Jeppesen’s customers in any way without their prior consent.

“To provide planning services, Jeppesen employees need to know where customers are beginning and ending their trips, the type of aircraft they are using, the number of people who will be flying, and when the trip will occur. The purpose of a trip is not required information for a flight plan.”

Meanwhile, of course, the Council of Europe’ Legal Affairs Committee has produced a report making specific allegations that European governments had detailed knowledge that “high value detainees” held by the CIA were flown to CIA run prisons in Poland and Romania and interrogated and tortured there. The Council is Europe’s leading human rights watchdog.

There’s quite a lot of detail downloadable from the site, including maps , background information, and the report from the Committee’s rapporteur, the Swiss Senator Dick Marty, which can also be downloaded below in PDF (796KB).



3 Responses

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  1. madmouser said, on 9 June, 2007 at 10:30 pm

    Is it illegal to transport criminals to other facilities? I don’t quite understand the issue, except for the torture. It seems before I heard of this, that America was the only country who did not really torture their prisoners. Laughing and mocking them is child’s play not torture. From all that I have read, we provide them with Korans, prayer rugs and foods that they like. That doesn’t sound like torture either.

  2. thenextwavefutures said, on 9 June, 2007 at 10:45 pm

    Andrew responds: Well, let me quote a couple of things.

    Dick Marty’s report for the Council of Europe has this to say on the subject:

    “”The rendition, abduction and detention of terrorist subjects have always taken place outside the US, where such actions would no doubt have been ruled unlawful and unconstitutional. These actions are also unacceptable under the laws of European countries who none the less tolerated them or colluded actively in carrying them out. Some European governments have obstructed the truth and are continuing to do so.”

    And some of the Reprieve filing on behalf of one of their clients (rather more than laughter and mockery):

    “He was routinely beaten, suffering broken bones and, on occasion, loss of consciousness due to the beatings. His clothes were cut off with a scalpel and the same scalpel was then used to make incisions on his body, including his penis. A hot stinging liquid was then poured into open wounds on his penis where he had been cut. He was frequently threatened with rape, electrocution, and death.”

  3. Thinking about Ed « thenextwave said, on 3 October, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    […] need to rehearse it here at length, but authoritarianism, attacks on civil liberties, complicity in torture, failure to reduce inequality, creeping financialisation of the public and personal sector, a […]

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