United States, British, rendition and torture

This video from the USA says about itself:

Stop the torture. Stop the torture flights.

A protest picket outside the headquarters of Jeppesen Dataplan in San Jose, CA. Jeppesen handles the flight logistics for the CIA’s torture flights.

By Robert Stevens:

United Nations condemns US, Britain and other states over rendition

12 March 2009

A report issued by the United Nations Human Rights Council this week strongly condemns the United States, Britain and other states for breaching basic human rights and international law.

The document, drafted for the UN General Assembly by Special Rapporteur Martin Scheinen, indicts the US specifically for numerous violations of international law, including the use of torture.

It goes on to state, however, that Washington could not have carried out these crimes without the aid of numerous allies. The help extended to it, moreover, has had the effect of “corrupting the institutional culture of the legal and institutional systems” of many additional countries. And, in some instances, states have used the war on terror to switch from ordinary law enforcement to the use of special intelligence agencies so as to circumvent democratic safeguards.

The British government is seeking to cover up its role in the illegal “extraordinary rendition”—kidnappings and torture—programme run by the United States: here.

59 thoughts on “United States, British, rendition and torture

  1. 2009-03-10 18:51

    CIA snatch secrecy hearing starts

    Constitutional Court to rule on govt, prosecution pleas

    (ANSA) – Rome, March 10 – Italy’s Constitutional Court on Tuesday started considering pleas on state secrecy regarding the CIA’s abduction of a Muslim cleric from Milan in 2003.

    In a closed-door session, the Court will examine three pleas from successive Italian governments on a currently suspended Milan trial of top Italian spies and 26 CIA agents in the abduction of imam Hassan Mustafa Omar Nasr, also known as Abu Omar.

    It will also consider two counterpleas, from the Milan judge and the prosecution in the case, arguing that state secrecy norms were not violated.

    The prosecutor alone filed almost 300 documents in support of his argument.

    Given the complexity of the case, the Constitutional Court is expected to issue its ruling later this week.

    Judicial sources say that an adverse ruling would mean the landmark rendition trial having to start from scratch.

    If, however, prosecutors obtain a favourable ruling, the Milan court is already set to reconvene on March 18. The lead prosecutor in the case, Armando Spataro, has accused Premier Silvio Berlusconi and his predecessor Romano Prodi of using national security norms to obstruct justice and ”prevent the truth emerging”.

    Successive Italian governments, while denying any role in Nasr’s abduction, have argued that the probe compromised relations with foreign security agencies.

    They say the prosecutors broke secrecy roles by wiretapping spies and questioning them on classified security issues such as relations with the CIA.

    The abduction of Nasr claimed headlines worldwide and stoked discussion of the controversial US policy of ‘extraordinary rendition’, which was recently extended by President Barack Obama under the proviso that detainees’ rights should be respected.

    The top Italian defendant in the case is Niccolo’ Pollari, the former head of Italian military intelligence SISMI, which recently changed its name to AISE.

    Eight Italians including Pollari and his former deputy Marco Mancini are on trial with the 26 CIA agents, who are being tried in absentia.

    The US agents include ex-Rome CIA station chief Robert Seldon Lady and ex-Milan chief Jeff Castelli.


    The Council of Europe, Europe’s human rights body, has called Nasr’s case a ”perfect example of rendition”.

    Nasr, the former head of Milan’s main mosque, disappeared from the northern Italian city on February 17, 2003.

    Prosecutors say he was snatched by a team of CIA operatives with SISMI’s help and whisked off to a NATO base in Ramstein, Germany.

    From there, he was taken to Egypt to be interrogated, reportedly under duress.

    Nasr, who was under investigation in Italy on suspicion of helping terrorists, was released early in 2007 from an Egyptian jail where he says he was beaten, given electric shocks and threatened with rape.

    He has demanded millions of euros in compensation from the Italian government.

    Berlusconi, who was in power at the time of the events, has been called to testify.

    Romano Prodi, his predecessor and successor, has also been admitted as a witness.

    The CIA was first granted permission to use rendition in a presidential directive signed by President Bill Clinton in 1995 and the practice grew sharply after the September 11 terrorist attacks.


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