A European human rights investigator said yesterday there was
evidence the US had "outsourced" torture to other countries and it
was likely that European governments knew about it.
But Swiss senator Dick Marty, who heads an investigation by the
Council of Europe human rights watchdog, said he had not uncovered
any irrefutable evidence to confirm allegations that the CIA
operated secret detention centers in Europe.
His remarks, in a preliminary report, kept pressure on the CIA
and European governments over allegations that the US intelligence
agency flew prisoners through airports in Europe to jails in third
countries where they may have been tortured.
"There is a great deal of coherent, convergent evidence pointing
to the existence of a system of 'relocation' or 'outsourcing of
torture'," Marty said in his initial report into the allegations
for the 46-nation Council, based in the eastern French city of
He said it had been proved that "individuals have been abducted,
deprived of their liberty and transported to different destinations
in Europe, to be handed over to countries in which they have
suffered degrading treatment and torture."
More than 100 people
Marty estimated that more than 100 people had been involved in
"renditions" delivering prisoners to jails in third countries,
where they may have been mistreated or tortured.
"It is highly unlikely that European governments, or at least
their intelligence services, were unaware," he added.
But Marty said there was no firm evidence of detention centers
in Europe similar to the one operated by the US at Guantanamo Bay
The US government has neither denied nor confirmed the reports
of secret detention centers, first made in the Washington
Post newspaper in November.
The allegations have named Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Serbia's
Kosovo, Macedonia and Bulgaria as hosts to secret detention
centers. No country has acknowledged playing any active role in the
Earlier this month, Marty said European states had deliberately
turned a blind eye to the "dirty work" that had gone on and were
complicit in illegal CIA activities during the war on
The allegations followed widespread anger in Europe about the US
treatment of prisoners in Iraq and detainees at Guantanamo Bay,
where hundreds of people judged by the US military to be illegal
combatants are held without charge.
There was no immediate reaction from the US.
Denis MacShane, a British member of parliament, told reporters
that Marty's report "has more holes than a Swiss cheese."
"I have read it carefully and there is nothing new, no proof, no
witness statement, no document that justifies the claims made,"
"The report simply re-circulates newspaper allegations and
sustains the anti-American propaganda that seeks to divide the
democracies of Europe and the world when we should be united to
defeat those who murdered hundreds of Europeans in (bomb attacks
in) Madrid and London, and who plan fresh attacks."
(China Daily January 25, 2006)