Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-09-26-Speech-3-200"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, my report was adopted seven months ago, and since then the only signs of anything new happening have come from the United States. One such sign was recalled by Mr Gawronski: President Bush decreed on 20 July that his administration would continue to have recourse to unlawful CIA activity in the form of extrajudicial seizure and detention of suspected terrorists in willing third countries. The other important sign is that the US Congress has opened its own independent inquiry into extraordinary rendition. This tells us that we are dealing not with a chapter of history but with current affairs. Judicial inquiries are underway in four European countries: Spain, Portugal, Germany and Italy. Thirty-nine provisional detention orders have so far been issued against as many US secret service officials and agents. The inquiry by this House documented facts, not opinions. It is a fact, for instance, that some of our governments and security services cooperated with the CIA in carrying out extraordinary rendition. I would remind Commissioner Frattini that our sources in this case were not anonymous. Our sources, as the report says, were statements by the UK and German Governments. We put forward 48 recommendations, above all to the Council, and we should like to know from the Council whether even one of those recommendations has been followed up over these seven months. We made two requests in particular: we invited the European institutions - including the Council - to shoulder their respective responsibilities under Articles 6 and 7 of the Treaty, and we expected the Council to exert pressure on all the governments concerned to provide full and exhaustive information, with the possibility of arranging hearings where necessary. This has not happened. It is not true that the Council has no powers, Mr Lobo Antunes; the Council has the powers conferred on it by Articles 6 and 7 of the Treaty. Our request certainly could have been acted on by the German Presidency and now the Portuguese Presidency. We appreciate Mr Frattini’s initiatives, but we are not satisfied by these two six-month presidencies which have in effect consigned to oblivion a year of work by our committee of inquiry. Given that public opinion in our countries is calling for truth, the silence of the Council - and, I must say, of many of our governments - constitutes a missed opportunity for Europe. Nevertheless, this House does not intend to give in. I am sorry for Mr Gawronski, but we shall come back to this topic. An own-initiative report in the Committee on Civil Liberties will be our contribution to combating terrorism in a way that is respectful of human rights always, everywhere and for everyone; the number-one human right, as Cesare Beccaria taught us centuries ago, being the presumption of innocence."@en1

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