Ludford: Assessing European complicity in the CIA rendition programme is overdue

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sarah ludford.jpgFive years from the European Parliament’s report into alleged European  collusion with CIA ‘extraordinary rendition’ (kidnap and secret illegal detention) developed as part of Bush “war on terror”, the Civil Liberties committee voted today on an update report. This addresses the extent to which Member States, Council and Commission have complied with their obligations to carry out full inquiries to ascertain and secure accountability for complicity in human rights abuses

UK Liberal Democrat justice and home affairs spokesperson and the author of the opinion on behalf of the Foreign Affairs committee Sarah Ludford commented: “There has been little progress in national inquiries into rendition allegations and those that have taken place have been far from full and independent. While investigations may only be capable of completion once the US fully cooperates in disclosing information on rendition practices, Member States  must not invoke spurious claims of ‘state secrecy’ to keep transgressions hidden. Continue reading

Ludford: EU must clamp down on torture goods trade

Baroness Sarah Ludford MEPLiberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford has called for tougher EU laws on the trade in instruments used in torture, repression and the death penalty, including drugs used in executions.

An Amnesty International report today, marking this week’s International Day against Torture, shows that torture instruments such as electric-shock belts are being marketed by EU companies while spiked batons are being promoted for sale in the EU and the sale of thumbscrews and leg irons is not banned.

The report follows a successful campaign last year – which Sarah co-led – to close loopholes under which ‘dual-use’ pharmaceuticals which do have a legitimate medicinal use were in fact being exported for illegitimate use as paralytic agents in executions. Continue reading