Labour Blog

Extraordinary Rendition is an attack on human rights

Posted on December 12, 2007 at 12:55 PM

Yesterday (December 11th) the Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC) published a report into the Government's involvement with the CIA 'extraordinary renditions' scandal.

The report states: "The Commission recommends that an effective inspection regime be put in place to ensure that no foreign aircraft which might be suspected of involvement in the illegal practice of 'extraordinary rendition' may land and refuel in Ireland. An effective inspection regime will ensure that no prisoners are transited through the State en route to a situation of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."

Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore TD raised the report in the Dáil this morning (December 12) during Leaders' Questions when he asked why the Government had not compiled with the Human Rights Commission's request to inspect aircraft's through Shannon and if it is going to start a system of inspection of the aircrafts.

Addressing the house Deputy Gilmore said: "A number of reports have stated including the Human Rights Commission that Shannon Airport is one of those airports being used for the transiting for these people who are being ferreted away for the purpose of torture.

"This has been raised on a number of occasions and the Government's response is that it has received diplomatic assurances from the United States Government that it is not happening through Shannon. It has accepted those assurances.

"The Human Rights Commission said that is not sufficient to comply with our human rights obligations ad that what is required is inspection of the aircraft.

"In its report the Human Rights Commission states that since 2005 it has been asking the Government to inspect the aircraft which are going through Shannon to satisfy itself independently that people are not being moved through Shannon for the purposes of torture and the Government has not compiled with that.

"Why has the Govt not compiled with the request from the Human Rights Commission to inspect the aircraft through Shannon?

Is it going to start a system of inspections of the aircrafts in Shannon?

The full debate will be available to read on the Oireachtas website. In addition Michael D Higgins TD issued a statement on the IHRC report which you can read in our media centre where you can also read a statement from Proinsias De Rossa MEP.

EDIT: 3.40pm

Today's exchange has been picked up by the media and you can read the report on and on Breaking

You can also read about a previous report from the Rapporteur of the Council of Europe, Dick Marty, which exposed the extent to which Member States have been complicit in the US Government's illegal activities in Iraq, by facilitating the transfer of prisoners for torture through their airspace. Ireland was named as one of 14 countries involved in such collusion. You can find out more in our campaigns section.

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