Amnesty urges EU nations to probe CIA renditions

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BRUSSELS (AP) — Amnesty International is urging reluctant European Union nations to make a renewed commitment to investigate their own involvement in secret CIA flights carrying suspected terrorists.

Amnesty said in a statement Monday there is "an appalling lack of political will to secure the truth" among EU member states.

Human rights groups have long accused some European nations of covering up their involvement in the so-called "extraordinary rendition" program that shuttled suspected terrorists between CIA-run overseas prisons and the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Human rights advocates claim that the CIA used the program — which was discontinued in 2009 — to outsource torture of detainees to countries where that was permitted.

The European Parliament is preparing a report on individual nations' compliance with a resolution requiring them to conduct independent probes into their involvement. The legislature is expected to vote on it in September.

Amnesty said a resolution should require member states to conduct human rights probes regarding complicity in the CIA operations, afford redress to the victims, and reform any agency that allowed abuses to take place.

The parliamentary "process is the perfect opportunity to press reluctant governments to make progress on accountability for operations which involved egregious human rights violations, including torture and enforced disappearance," said Julia Hall, Amnesty's expert on counterterrorism and human rights.

The Council of Europe has estimated that 1,245 CIA-operated flights passed over the continent, but an accurate count may be impossible.

In a 2007 probe, Swiss politician Dick Marty accused 14 European governments of permitting the CIA to run detention centers or carry out rendition flights over their territories between 2002 and 2005.

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