‘High-value’ detainees were held in secret CIA detention centres in Poland and Romania, says PACE committee
Strasbourg, 08.06.2007 – So-called US “high-value” detainees (HVD) – whose existence were revealed by President Bush in September 2006 – were held in secret CIA detention centres in Poland and Romania between 2002 and 2005, according to a report of the Legal Affairs Committee of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) adopted today.
The report was based in part on the cross-referenced testimonies of over 30 serving and former members of intelligence services in the US and Europe, and on a new analysis of computer “data strings” from the international flight planning system.
It describes in detail the scope and functioning of the US’s “high-value detainees” programme, which it says was set up by the CIA “with the co-operation of official European partners belonging to Government services” and kept secret for many years thanks to strict observance of the rules of confidentiality laid down in the NATO framework.
The programme “has given rise to repeated serious breaches of human rights”, the committee declared, including the torture of detainees.
In an explanatory memorandum, rapporteur Dick Marty (Switzerland, ALDE) also revealed:
• US “high-value detainees” (HVDs) were held at the Stare Kiejkuty intelligence training base during the period from 2002 to 2005
• A secret agreement between the US and NATO allies in October 2001 provided the framework for the CIA to hold “high-value detainees” in Europe
• Former Polish President Kwasniewski and former Romanian President Iliescu knew about and authorised such secret detentions
• Flights to Poland – including one that may have carried Khalid Sheikh Mohammed from Kabul to Szymany on 7 March 2003 – were deliberately disguised through the filing of “dummy” flight plans and the complicity of Polish air traffic controllers (see graphic 1)
• Mistaken terror suspect Khaled El-Masri was “homeward rendered” by the CIA from Kabul to the Bezat-Kuçova Aerodrome in Albania on 28 May 2004 (see graphic 3)
The committee said that only Bosnia and Herzegovina and Canada, a Council of Europe observer state, had fully acknowledged their responsibilities with regard to the unlawful transfers of detainees.
The parliamentarians said information as well as evidence concerning the liability of the state’s representatives for serious violations of human rights “must not be considered as worthy of protection as state secrets”.
The disclosure of the truth, they said, “is the the best way of restoring the vital co-operation between secret services for the prevention and suppression of terrorism”.
Adopted draft resolution and recommendation
Mr Marty’s explanatory memorandum (PDF)
Appendix 1 – graphic
Appendix 2 – graphic
Appendix 3 – graphic (PDF)
Background: chronology and other documents
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