COPENHAGEN, 28 June 2012 – A resolution now before the 56-country OSCE Parliamentary Assembly calls for the United States to co-operate with European investigations into the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s extraordinary rendition programme, which may include abduction and torture of alleged terrorists, and the use of secret prisons in Europe.
Members will debate and vote on the resolution at the Assembly’s Annual Session in Monaco on 5-9 July.
The resolution authored by British parliamentarian Tony Lloyd welcomes investigations being carried out in Poland and the United Kingdom and calls on other governments in the OSCE to fulfill their obligations to investigate their own roles in the programme. The measure insists that the United States release all pertinent information to investigators regarding rendition and the use of so-called “black sites”.
“Six years after the CIA’s secret prisons in Europe came to light, there is yet to be a full accounting of what the programme entailed, who facilitated it and what laws may have been broken,” said Lloyd. “The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and many international organizations demanded official probes into this programme in 2006, but even as some of us try to investigate, we are stymied by a lack of co-operation by U.S. authorities.”
Lloyd co-chairs the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Extraordinary Rendition, an investigative body which comprises about 50 MPs and peers. While investigating potential British complicity in rendition and torture, the group submitted information requests to U.S. intelligence agencies. U.S. authorities denied the requests, citing the U.S. Freedom of Information Act exemptions for requests by “foreign government entities.”
“I hope this resolution spurs greater transparency from the U.S. government and reminds OSCE participating States of their obligation to investigate possible violations of the law regarding this programme,” said Lloyd.
The OSCE PA’s 2006 Brussels Declaration called on participating States to investigate whether their territory was used to assist the CIA in secretly transporting detainees to countries where they may be tortured.
The resolution to be debated in Monaco reiterates that all OSCE participating States have binding obligations under international law to investigate allegations of torture and restates its previous call to thoroughly probe allegations that their territory has been used to assist the CIA’s extraordinary rendition programme.
Twenty-seven members from 14 countries have supported the measure. The full text can be accessed here.
Resolutions adopted at the Annual Session along with the Monaco Declaration help to shape OSCE and national policy. The Annual Session, including committee debates and votes, are open to the press and public.
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This is a press release issued by the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. The views expressed in this press release do not necessarily reflect those of the OSCE Chairmanship, nor of all OSCE participating States.
The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is comprised of 320 parliamentarians from 55 countries spanning, Europe, Central Asia and North America. The Assembly provides a forum for parliamentary diplomacy, monitors elections, and strengthens international cooperation to uphold commitments on political, security, economic, environmental and human rights issues.