11 June 2007
Secret detentions and illegal transfers of detainees involving
Council of Europe member states: second report
Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights
Rapporteur: Mr Dick MARTY, Switzerland, Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights now considers it factually established that secret detention
centres operated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have existed for some years in Poland and
Romania, though not ruling out the possibility that secret CIA detentions may also have occurred in other
Council of Europe member states.
Analysis of the data on the movements of certain aircraft, obtained from different sources, including
international air traffic control authorities, and supplemented by numerous credible and concordant
testimonies, has enabled the places in question to be identified.
These secret places of detention formed part of the “HVD” (High-Value Detainees) programme publicly
referred to by the President of the United States on 6 September 2006.
The “HVD” programme 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 implementation of this programme has given rise to repeated serious
breaches of human rights.
The committee earnestly deplores the fact that the concepts of state secrecy or national security are invoked
by many governments (United States, Poland, Romania, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, Italy
and Germany, as well as the Russian Federation in the Northern Caucasus) to obstruct judicial and/or
parliamentary proceedings aimed at ascertaining the responsibilities of the executive in relation to grave
allegations of human rights violations. The committee also stresses the need to rehabilitate and compensate
victims of such violations. Information as well as evidence concerning the civil, criminal or political liability of
the state’s representatives for serious violations of human rights must not be considered as worthy of
protection as state secrets.
The scope of the executive’s reserved area, exempted by virtue of state secrecy and national security from
parliamentary and/or judicial review, must conform with the principles of democracy and the rule of law.
The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights solemnly restates its position that terrorism can and must
be combated by methods consistent with human rights and the rule of law. This position of principle, founded
on the values upheld by the Council of Europe, is also the one that best guarantees the effectiveness of the
fight against terrorism in the long term.
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