Ireland named as colluding government in extraordinary renditions

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The Irish government has been named as one of dozens that colluded with authorities in the United States of America on its programme of extraordinary rendition.

A report compiled by the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) shows there is evidence that more than a quarter of global governments covertly offered support.

The New York-based human rights organisation says at least 54 countries co-operated with the global kidnap, detention and torture operation that was mounted after 9/11 – many of them in Europe.

The report dedicates a chapter to Ireland – saying it permitted the use of its airspace and airports for flights associated with CIA extraordinary rendition operations.

The OSJI says it is clear that the CIA could not have operated its rendition programme without the support of other countries.

It claims the program – by the the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) – was designed to place detainee interrogations beyond the reach of law.

“Suspected terrorists were seized and secretly flown across national borders to be interrogated by foreign governments that used torture, or by the CIA itself in clandestine “black sites” using torture techniques” it adds.

CIA aircraft at Irish airports ‘on many occasions’

The report details what it claims was done to the 136 known victims and lists the 54 foreign governments that it says participated in these operations.

“It shows that responsibility for the abuses lies not only with the United States but with dozens of foreign governments that were complicit” it continues.

The document quotes a 2007 European Parliament report which “express[ed] serious concern about the stopovers made by CIA-operated aircraft at Irish airports that on many occasions came from or were bound for countries linked with extraordinary rendition circuits and the transfer of detainees”.

It says that aircraft which have been shown to have been used by the CIA stopped over in Ireland for the extraordinary rendition of Bisher Al-Rawi, Jamil El-Banna, Abou Elkassim Britel, Khaled El-Masri, Binyam Mohammed, Abu Omar and Maher Arar and for the expulsion of Ahmed Agiza and Mohammed El Zari.

U.S. court records from a lawsuit involving Richmor Aviation, a company that operated CIA extraordinary rendition flights, also show that at least 13 flights operated by Richmor involving U.S. personnel landed in Ireland between 2002
and 2004.

The report says these include several flights stopping at Shannon Airport.

Read the full report here

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