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EU Discussing Probe Into CIA Prison Allegations

1 December 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The European Union is set to push today for a formal EU probe into allegations that the CIA transported terrorist suspects and held them in secret prisons across Eastern Europe.

The European Parliament's civil liberties committee is meeting in Brussels to discuss the EU's response to the allegations. This week, the EU's senior justice official threatened that any member state found to have housed secret prisons could lose its voting rights.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch (HRW) today published what it called a preliminary list of 26 "ghost detainees" allegedly in secret U.S. custody. In a statement, HRW said such detainees have been given no legal rights and may have been tortured.

HRW's Tom Malinowski told RFE/RL that the list was compiled from media and government statements as well as information HRW obtained on its own.

"If these individuals are to be treated in accordance with the laws of war, then at the very least, they should be granted access to the International Committee for the Red Cross, the places of their detention should be disclosed," Malinowski said. "If we are going to treat them under criminal laws, then they should be prosecuted. One way or another, their basic rights are being violated."

The United States this week pledged to respond swiftly to European concerns about the allegations.

(with AP/AFP)