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US Torture Report reinforces allegations of European complicity with CIA in 'war on terror': Europe must set example for counter-terrorism cooperation

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

Diary Note: new briefing paper & interview availability

16 January 2015

On Tuesday 20 January 00.01 GMT, Amnesty International will launch a new briefing paper,  Breaking the Conspiracy of Silence: USA’s European ‘partners in crime’ must act after Senate torture report, highlighting the role of European governments in the CIA’s secret detention, interrogation, and torture operations, as part of the USA’s global ‘war on terror’.

The briefing will link new details from the December 2014 United States’ (US) Senate torture report with credible public information and that sourced by Amnesty International, exposing the US’ European ‘partners in crime’ and their role in the ‘success’ of CIA operations (sometimes in exchange for millions of US dollars). It will highlight the serious failure of the respective European governments to carry out full and effective investigations, and to bring those responsible to justice.

The briefing comes as the European Union (EU) and member states discuss counter-terrorism measures in the wake of the horrific Paris attacks, and following yesterday’s operations in Belgium. Counter-terrorism measures must always contain strong human rights safeguards, and must never be at the cost of human dignity. These principles have to be upheld in all counter-terrorism responses and measures.

Europe has the chance to set the example for counter-terrorism cooperation, in full respect of human rights and anti-torture obligations. To this end, it is vital that European governments that worked with the CIA on illegally transferring, detaining and torturing suspects as part of its counter-terrorism operations effectively investigate their roles in these operations; hold perpetrators of human rights violations accountable; facilitate genuine access to justice for all those subjected to the abuses; and provide the whole truth about the human rights violations committed in and around these operations. The EU institutions also bear collective responsibility to ensure that Europe never becomes an ‘accountability free’ zone for crimes spearheaded by the USA, or any other international partner.

The briefing’s author, Amnesty International’s expert on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights, Julia Hall, will meet EU representatives in Brussels on Tuesday 20 January and Wednesday 21 January to discuss implicated member states’ obligations to seek accountability, and the EU’s response to counter-terrorism. She will be available for media interviews on the findings of the briefing.

European governments alleged in open sources to have facilitated such operations include: Germany, Lithuania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Poland, Romania, and the United Kingdom.

For more information and to request an interview with Julia Hall on 20 & 21 January, please contact:

Maeve Patterson
Head of Media & Communications
Amnesty International European Institutions Office
Email: mpatterson@amnesty.eu
Telephone: +32 (0)2 548 27 73
Mobile: +32 (0)483 680 812
Twitter: @maevepatterson
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