MEP Updates Amnesty International On CIA Flights

03 November 2006
SNP MEP Alyn Smith will tomorrow (Saturday) take part in an Amnesty International Conference on the ‘War on Terror' being held in Glasgow.

Mr Smith will take part in the panel question and answer session updating delegates on the European Parliament temporary committee inquiry into the alleged CIA rendition flights.

Speaking before the conference Mr Smith said,

"I congratulate Amnesty International Scotland in holding this conference as it is vital that public debate on the issues of protecting citizens while upholding human rights continues.

"Amnesty have been at the forefront of efforts to expose the activities undertaken by the CIA in Scotland and across the EU. It is thanks to their efforts that the Parliament agreed to an inquiry.

"The first report of the European temporary committee investigating the use of EU airports by CIA rendition flights concluded that CIA has been "directly responsible" in some cases for the extraordinary rendition, "illegal seizure, removal, abduction and detention of terrorist suspects on the territory of Member States, accession and candidate countries" - all of which constitute violations of fundamental rights under international law.

"This is a situation that cannot be allowed to continue and as the committee prepares to release the second phase of its findings later this month I believe that governments across the EU will be faced with some tough questions from the public on the role they played in allowing these flights to use their airports, including those in Scotland.

Mr Smith concluded,

"The failure of Labour or the Liberals in Scotland to act on this issue is a disgrace. In London the Liberal Democrats are calling for an inquiry, in Edinburgh the Lib Dem Transport Minister refuses to investigate what's happening at his airports. This issue will not go away and both parties will have to answer some serious questions on this before May.

"As the SNP prepares for government we believe the people of Scotland want a government that will be upfront and honest with them on the role it plays in the fight against terrorism and one which upholds international law."

ENDS