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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-02-14

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greece, Cyprus in EU Parliament report on CIA flights

  • [01] Greece, Cyprus in EU Parliament report on CIA flights

    STRASBOURG (ANA-MPA - O. Tsipira) Greece and Cyprus are among 14 EU member-states suspected of turning a blind eye to secret CIA flights taking terror suspects to countries where they could face torture, according to a report approved by a majority of MEPs in the European Parliament on Wednesday.

    The EU parliament voted to accept a resolution condemning member states who accepted or ignored the practice.

    The EU report said the US had operated 1,200 flights, flying suspects on to states where they could face torture.

    The report was adopted by a large majority, with 382 MEPs voting in favour, 256 against and 74 abstaining.

    A paragraph referring to Greece said that aircraft used by the CIA had made 64 stops in Greek airports. It expressed grave concerns regarding the purpose of flights coming from or flying to countries linked to the CIA's "extraordinary renditions" circuit, as the prisoner transfers were termed.

    In the case of Cyprus, the report pointed to 57 stops at Cyprus airports of CIA-operated planes.

    It is unlikely, the report said, that European governments were unaware of rendition activities on their territory.

    "This is a report that doesn't allow anyone to look the other way. We must be vigilant that what has been happening in the past five years may never happen again," said Italian Socialist MEP Giovanni Fava, who drafted the document.

    Centre-right MEPs criticised the report, however, saying it was motivated by "anti-Americanism". The EU Parliament majority rejected basic amendments, however, saying that there was no firm evidence against the member-states.

    European Commission for Justice Franco Frattini said the message from the report was a need for "greater and closer EuroAtlantic cooperation, greater cooperation with the U.S. in the name of two principles: "Security and mutual respect for individual rights".

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