SNP comment on European Parliament investigation into CIA activities

06 July 2006
SNP Europe Spokesman Alyn Smith has today welcomed the adoption by the European parliament of an interim report from the Temporary Parliamentary Committee investigating allegations of abuses of human rights on EU territory by the American CIA.

A number of Scottish airports are implicated in the investigation as refuelling posts for CIA flights. The Report, drafted by Italian Social Democrat Claudio Fava, passed 389 votes to 137 against with 55 abstentions. The investigation is continuing.

Speaking after the vote in Strasbourg, Mr Smith said:

"This vote underlines how seriously the European parliament is taking this investigation, and the fact that we still believe member states have a case to answer.

"It is just not good enough to reply that they have no evidence of wrongdoing when the obvious question has to be why on earth have they not been looking.

"I have been horrified to hear some of the evidence and the extent to which foreign flights are using Scottish airports with no communication of the contents, human or otherwise, of the planes coming through Scottish airspace. We have seen airports in the North, South east and West of Scotland used as refuelling stops. What or who was on these planes and why seems to be anybody's guess and that is just not good enough.

"The European Parliament and Council of Europe are showing a valuable determination to get to the bottom of these activities. In Scotland, with a distinct legal system and a distinct Parliament it is now essential that we see some action from Scottish Ministers on this. The Executive owns one of the airports - they should find out what is going on.

"The Americans are our friends and our allies, but if we do not keep our own house in Scotland in order we can hardly expect to be taken seriously elsewhere in the world at a time when the fight for human rights is in retreat globally.