Press Release - 453(2007)

CIA secret detentions in Europe: PACE urges oversight of military and foreign intelligence services

Strasbourg, 27.06.2007 – Parliamentarians from across Europe today backed the conclusions of the report by Dick Marty (Switzerland, ALDE), declaring that it is now established with a high degree of probability that secret detention centres operated by the CIA, forming part of the High Value Detainee (HVD) program, existed for some years in Poland and Romania.

In a recommendation, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) also said European governments should look into the need for democratic oversight of military intelligence services and foreign intelligence services operating on their territory.

The parliamentarians noted that some states invoked national security, or “state secrecy” laws, to block investigations into grave human rights violations committed by their agents. It urged that such restrictions be reduced to a minimum when exposing secret services’ wrongful acts.

They urged compensation for the victims of such unlawful acts, and said only Bosnia and Herzegovina and Canada, the latter an observer to the Council of Europe, had fully acknowledged their responsibilities regarding the unlawful transfers of detainees.

The parliamentarians also called on NATO to make public the additional components to the authorisation of 4 October 2001 – granting blanket permission to the US for anti-terror operations in Europe – that have until now remained secret.

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