Polish presidency must hound Europe’s CIA jailers
(Brussels, 17 June 2011) Announcing today its human rights recommendations to Poland as the country prepares for its six-month presidency of the European Union, Amnesty International has urged the Polish Government to ensure EU countries are held fully accountable for their contribution to the CIA-led renditions and secret detention programme.
” Any EU state which connived in the CIA programmes must be relentlessly pursued and held to account“, said Nicolas Berger, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office. “State secrecy should never be used to deny justice to victims of torture and other human rights violations. Poland must set the tone as it proceeds with its criminal investigation into allegations of a secret CIA prison at the Polish military base of Stare Kiejkuty. We expect the Polish presidency to cooperate fully with the European Parliament on this issue. ”
Amnesty International has also called on the presidency to press its eastern neighbour Belarus to release all its prisoners of conscience and abolish the death penalty. Belarus is Europe’s last remaining executioner.
“Human rights work is always about real people,” said Draginja Nadażdin, Director of Amnesty International Poland. “The EU must actively help individual Belarusian prisoners of conscience like Zmitser Dashkevich and Andrzej Poczobut to demonstrate its commitment to defending human rights not only around the world, but also just across its own borders.”
Amnesty International will assess the presidency’s progress after three months and at the conclusion of its term.
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