EP: Now is not the time to avoid discussion on Guantanamo and renditions

(Brussels, 16 December) By not allowing oral questions on Guantanamo and CIA illegal renditions in this week’s plenary session, the European Parliament (EP) is directly avoiding its responsibilities, says Amnesty International.

“At a time when there are concrete developments one would expect the EP to be leading the discussions instead of shying away from them” said Nicolas Beger, Director of Amnesty International’s EU office.

Over the past few weeks it was revealed that the former Spanish government – and very likely other European governments – authorized the CIA to use its airspace to transfer prisoners to Guantanamo.

Furthermore, just last week, Portugal challenged the EU to help the new US administration so that it can once and for all shut down the illegal prison, by taking in Guantanamo detainees that cannot be returned to their home countries.

“The allegations concerning Spanish knowledge of CIA renditions are extremely serious on its own and the opportunity in regard to Guantanamo speaks for itself. As such, the decision to avoid a debate at this time shows a worrying disconnect which is inconsistent with the EP’s own positions on both issues” added Beger.

In a letter addressed to the leaders of the political groups (see attachment below) Amnesty International called on the EP to clarify its position and to reassume much needed leadership in the debate.

For further comment/background and interviews:
Amnesty International EU Office (Brussels):
Tel: 32-2-5021499 Fax: 32-2-5025686
Email: [email protected]
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