GREEN MEP CALLS ON UK GOVERNMENT TO DIG DEEPER INTO CIA FLIGHTS
As the European Parliament’s Temporary Committee of Inquiry into the CIA
Extraordinary Rendition flights took evidence from the Italian Secret
Services and the Belgian Senate yesterday, Jean Lambert, UK Green MEP
and substitute member of the Committee called on the UK Government to
launch a formal investigation.
Speaking at Liberty’s ‘No torture – No Compromise’ seminar today, Jean
Lambert, who was named MEP 2005 for Justice and Human Rights, warned
that as long as the UK Government trusted the word of the United States,
the truth would not be told; “With new information on the CIA Flights
regularly surfacing we seem to have fallen in to a situation where the
UK Government is talking about ‘trust’.
“They are willing to take assurances from the USA but will not dig
deeper by asking any awkward questions. It is sheer unwillingness to
upset the USA. Given the stories we hear of human rights abuses in Iraq,
a country under the watch of the UK and the USA, I fear questions are
not being asked as they might not like the answers they get. This is not
the job of a Government – they have a duty to protect and therefore a
duty to ask questions,” she said.
Jean, who is also a member of the Civil Liberties Committee in the
European Parliament said it was vital that the UK launched an official
inquiry even if it was considered as ‘inconvenient’; “An Independent
committee of inquiry could be useful not only in establishing the facts
but in making recommendations to ensure we are protecting national
security and human rights,” she concluded.
The seminar brought together experts in the field to examine the current
evidence and highlight the need for the UK Government to launch a full
and active investigation. Alongside Jean Lambert MEP the seminar heard
from Phillipe Sands QC – Author of ‘Lawless World’, Martin Bright –
Political Editor of the New Statesman and Andrew Tyrie MP – Chair of the
All Party Group on Extraordinary Rendition. Shami Chakrabarti, Director
of Liberty, chaired the event.