Monday 30 April 2007, by Adler Peter
The EPP-ED Group – whilst opposed to all illegal activities and especially the rendition of people for torture purposes – voted against the final report of the temporary committee investigating activities of the CIA in Member States of the European Union because of the lack of tangible evidence regarding allegations of wrongdoing by Member States.
The Parliament’s non-binding resolution was adopted by a vote of 382 to 256, with 74 abstentions.
According to Jas Gawronski (I), who was responsible for coordinating the EPP-ED Group’s response to the report, the temporary committee on the alleged use of European Countries by the CIA for the transport and illegal detention of prisoners had failed its aims ever since it began to gather evidence one year ago.
»On our first mission to Washington DC, we behaved like a tribunal in our meetings with representatives of the State Department, thus impeding a constructive dialogue, which would have been useful», said Gawronski during the debate, regretting the counterproductive atmosphere which led to a biased and flawed result filled with assumptions and unfounded allegations.
The EPP-ED Group insists that EU Member States must abide by international conventions and principles governing human rights. Illegal activities or the rendition of people for torture purposes cannot be tolerated. The Group therefore supported the aims of the one-year investigation. However, after reading the final report concluded that the investigation had failed.
»The temporary committee has found precious little evidence to support the long list of allegations and suppositions of wrongdoing by Member States which have been adopted as hard facts in the report. However, the wording of the report strongly implies that countries in Europe were massively involved in extraordinary rendition activities and illegal detention. This is not a true interpretation of the facts. It is disheartening to see that speculation and assumptions have been allowed to fill the void where the facts should have been stated. Amendments by the EPP-ED Group to balance the wording of the resolution were rejected. We therefore had no alternative but to vote against the report», concluded Gawronski.