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Europe: PACE draft resolution on state secrecy

last updated Sep 13, 2011

The Legal Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has adopted a draft resolution on the misuse of “state secrecy” to protect wrongdoing. PACE criticised the practice of states to refer to “state secrecy” to cover human rights violations such as torture, abduction or renditions by secret services and intelligence agencies.

The draft resolution is based on a report by the Swiss member Dick Marty and also includes the verdict on inquiries launched by European governments to investigate their role in the CIA’s extraordinary rendition programme after another report of Mr Marty had been released five years ago. The conclusions disclose that efforts by Poland and Romania, who hosted secret CIA prisons, have mainly been directed at defending the official position of the national authorities and not towards an impartial investigation.

PACE also complimented Lithuania, Germany and Italy for their inquiries into the matter and also welcomed friendly settlements with torture victims in the United Kingdom. It further urged the parties involved in the Gibson inquiry to agree on a framework. Moreover, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” received some criticism that it did not find it necessary to launch an investigation into the El-Masri case.

The report is due to be debated during the autumn session of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg (3-7 October 2011).

CoE: PACE committee: secret services must be held accountable for torture, abduction or renditions