A quest for accountability? EU and Member State inquiries into the CIA Rendition and Secret Detention Programme

At the request of the LIBE Committee, this study assesses the extent to which EU Member States have delivered accountability for their complicity in the US CIA-led extraordinary rendition and secret detention programme and its serious human rights violations. It offers a scoreboard of political inquiries and judicial investigations in supranational and national arenas in relation to Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom. The study takes as a starting point two recent and far-reaching developments in delivering accountability and establishing the truth: the publication of the executive summary of the US Senate Intelligence Committee (Feinstein) Report and new European Court of Human Rights judgments regarding EU Member States’ complicity with the CIA. The study identifies significant obstacles to further accountability in the five EU Member States under investigation: notably the lack of independent and effective official investigations and the use of the ‘state secrets doctrine’ to prevent disclosure of the facts, evade responsibility and hinder redress to the victims. The study puts forward a set of policy recommendations for the European Parliament to address these obstacles to effective accountability.

Authors : Didier Bigo (King’s College, London, the UK ; Science Po, Paris, France ; Centre for Study of Conflicts, Liberty and Security), Sergio Carrera (Centre for European Policy Studies – CEPS ; University of Maastricht, the Netherlands), Elspeth Guild (Centre for European Policy Studies – CEPS ; Radboud University Nijmegen and Queen Mary, University of London, the UK) and Raluca Radescu (Centre for European Policy Studies – CEPS)

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